Waterproof Amsterdam

Amsterdam is one of the pilot research locations within the national Delta Safety programme. In this programme a so called “multi layered safety approach” is being tested and implemented. This approach stands for a nuanced look at measurements to keep the Netherlands flood proof in the future. Besides reinforcing the dikes (layer 1), the approach is directed towards smart flood proof adjustments in spatial developments (layer 2) and calamity control (layer 3). This means that a possible chance of flooding is taken into consideration and weighed by its expected damage and casualties. Based on this approach and related to the severeness of consequences of flooding we defined priorities for watersafety on the map of Amsterdam and the best layer for interventions.

Despite the fact that the city is relatively safe, Amsterdam has a complex safety situation. The city is influenced by the sea, the rivers, the IJsselmeer and a refined system of regional canals. We added all possible flooding consequences into one map and devided them into national, regional and local scale. On all levels spatial measurements can be taken adding up to a compete flood proof strategy for the city.

Special attention has been given to the banks of the IJ and the deep polders on the Southeast of Amsterdam. Here we drew a spectrum of possibilities for flood proofing on a local scale. They vary from guiding floods in public spaces to securing open inundation polders and from selective climate dikes to flood proof building developments.

The results have been brought to the polititians and a further in depth research on the illustrated two locations has been put on the agenda.