Climate Resilient Watershed Approaches for Urban Communities in Florida (USA) and the Netherlands

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Adaption for All

“Florida has more in common with the Netherlands than one might think”, may not be the first statement that comes to mind when we talk about flood control. The statement may be true for the large engineered coastal storm protection system the Dutch have constructed, including the Deltaworks. However, when it comes to river basin management in the Netherlands, watershed planning in Florida, the interplay between various interventions and scales as well as water governance, there is clearly more in common than might appear at first sight. It is key to understand how these institutions and landscape with or without solutions currently performs and how they will perform during future extreme weather events.  

Recent studies like Miami Dade County’s Sea Level Rise Strategy, have taken a holistic approach to climate challenges, aiming to establish higher levels of community resilience by developing adaptation pathways with a focus on coastal nature based and inland watershed strategies to increase the performance of public space and reduce the likelihood of devastation and loss of life, and effectively help communities to better prepare to live with the water to come. The recent flood disaster in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands adds a timely factor to a comparison on the impact and response to climate related extreme weather events and how regional watershed planning will need to work to everyone’s advantage.  

During this interactive session, the audience will take part in a multi-national, -state and -municipal comparison: how do we plan for or respond to the extreme, where do we need to improve and what is currently happening to drive improvements?  

Event Details
Mayor of Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA
Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA
Mayor of Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA Overseeing a metropolitan government with more than 28,000 employees, nearly 3 million residents and an annual budget of almost $9 billion, Daniella Levine Cava was elected Miami-Dade County’s first-ever woman Mayor in November 2020. Working as a social worker, lawyer, community activist and environmental defender for nearly four decades before holding public office, Mayor Levine Cava has actively advocated for years to ensure that projects move forward to completion in the southern Everglades within Miami-Dade County’s part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. For this work, she earned the 2020 Public Service Award from the Everglades Coalition honoring her unwavering efforts to protect and restore the Everglades, where she regularly enjoys canoeing on vacations with her family.
Vice Mayor
City of Zwolle
Ed Anker is Alderman of Zwolle with spatial planning, water and climate adaptation in his portfolio. As an Alderman Ed Anker is looking for ways of climate adaptation that contribute to an livable and economical powerful delta as well. A delta in which people are aware and proud of their history of living with water. This is most important because each an everyone of us should be involved in adapting to climate change. The Deltaworks of the future come in all types and sizes and are spread throughout the city. As an alderman Ed Anker is bringing together partners in the region to work towards the delta of the future, in which different partners showcase how adapting to the climate change can be realised.
Managing Director
Province of Limburg,
Diederik Timmer is Managing Director of Timmer & Partners B.V. He is currently working as director for the Province of Limburg. Experienced project director for large infrastructural project in administratively complex environments. Leading role in major organizational changes. Among other things, he was an advisor on behalf of the Dutch government in New Orleans, director of the client of the A2 tunnel Maastricht, was chairman of the gate review team of Zuidasdok in Amsterdam and project director flood protection Limburg.
Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection
Alex Reed was appointed director of the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection in November 2019. The office has a multi-faceted approach to resilience, including coral reef protection; preservation of coastal and aquatic management areas; beach and inlet management; and the implementation of ecosystem restoration projects to prepare Florida’s coastal communities and state-managed lands for the effects of sea level rise, coastal flooding, erosion and storms. Alex has been with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection since 2009, serving in a variety of roles and most recently as the director of the Division of Water Resource Management. Alex earned a Bachelor of Science in geology from Florida State University.
Senior Advisor on Infrastructure and Water Management at Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Washington DC
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Washington DC
Saskia Pardaans is Senior Advisor on Infrastructure and Water Management at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Washington DC, representing the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management in the USA. Her focus is on the topics of water management and climate adaptation. The aim of this work is: protection and sustainability: flood risk reduction, coastal and flood zone restoration, ecosystem resilience, urban adaptation and urban water management, and landscape design for risk reduction of public utilities. Before her posting at the Embassy , Saskia Pardaans has served as the Chief Representative for the Netherlands Business Support Office (NBSO) in Houston, Texas. The NBSO aims to promote the Netherlands and its companies in Texas and Texas in the Netherlands. One of the most important sectors in Texas is water, in the broadest sense of the word. Saskia Pardaans has a background in sales, marketing, communications and international affairs. Previously, she worked as interim manager to lay the groundwork for several organizations for commercial and customer-oriented thinking. Prior to her assignment with the NBSO and her move to the United States, Saskia was managing director and senior trainer for 12 years at her own training agency. Besides, she also worked as an area manager with the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers, the largest employers’ organization in the Netherlands.
Resilience Program Manager
Adaptation Office of Resilience, Miami-Dade County, Florida
Katherine Hagemann is the Resilience Program Manager for Adaptation within the Office of Resilience at Miami-Dade County. Her work focuses primarily on climate change and adaptation and implementing the County’s Sea Level Rise Strategy. Before moving to Miami she also worked on coastal climate adaptation during the post-Sandy Rebuild by Design and National Disaster Resilience competitions. She earned her Master of Environmental Science from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Science where she studied how cities can use a hybrid of grey and green infrastructure to adapt to rising sea levels.
Commercial Director Water – Sector Lead for Waterboards and Water Utilities at Arcadis Netherlands
Sabrina is Sector Lead for Waterboards and Water Utilities at Arcadis Netherlands. She has 25 years of experience in Water management in the Netherlands. Starting her career at Rijkswaterstaat after the floods of the River Meuse in 1993 and 1995, she has a vast experience with Room for the River and water safety projects. Sabrina led the Urban Water & Climate Adaptation Department at Arcadis for several years and has been program manager for Climate Adaptation, focusing on adaptation of both public and private sector towards the changing climate. Sabrina has been an active member of the Dutch City Deal on Climate Adaptation and the Commission on European NEN/ISO norms Climate Adaptation. Nowadays she is member of the Strategic Advisory Board of the 4Technical Universities Resilience Engineering Program, of the Board for Cooperation in Water Board Projects, and of the Arcadis European Flood Task Force.
National Director for Flood Risk and Resilience - Associate Vice President at Arcadis
Edgar is the National Director for Flood Risk and Resiliency for North America. Edgar is a water consultant with 20 years of experience in integrated water management. He has a deep understanding of urban and industrial flood proofing concepts, infrastructure planning and design, sustainable urban water management and waterfront development and international water management concepts. Edgar was leading the ARCADIS participation in the international HUD Rebuild by Design competition, including the winning BIG U – Waterfront Resiliency Plan of Manhattan. Edgar functions as the climate change adaptation specialist regarding integrated and multi-layered coastal waterfront and urban water management strategies. He plays a key role in the identification and implementation of our local and international flood proofing expertise. As the Flood Risk & Resiliency Lead, Edgar is the Rockefeller Foundation 100RC participation lead for the US and involved in strategic initiatives regarding climate change adaptation and water resiliency concepts. Most recently Edgar initiated a collaboration with UPenn, bridging Miami’s climate challenges to the city of Philadelphia. Edgar has given master classes on resilience and climate adaptation at UPenn, Yale University, Harvard and Columbia and is the contributing author and editor of the book Adapting Cities to Sea Level Rise (Island Press) and Blue Dunes (Columbia Press). Edgar functions as a press spokesperson on resilience in the US, Canada and the NL. Prior to his position with ARCADIS, Edgar was the project manager overseeing waterfront and infrastructure planning work of a leading EURO 400M mixed use waterfront urban – industrial sustainable revitalization site in the Netherlands.
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