Nurturing the Young –

Innovation for Sustainability

Events and Activities

Technical Seminar: Global Best Practices in Land Reclamation and Coastal Resilience

Date, time & venue 
2019-02-21;18:30pm – 20:00pm;Room Y302, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 


Programme Highlight

Coastal cities like Hong Kong are facing the combined challenges of urbanisation, climate change, sea level rise and in creased flood risks. The future rainfall will become more erratic and maximum rainfall intensities will increase. At the same time, urbanisation requires precious urban space and puts pressure on the available of space for water storage, while flood protection requires substantial investments. One way to deal with these challenges is to combine flood protection and land reclamation, as the Netherlands has been doing for many centuries. The Netherlands developed new land, so called “polders” by reclaiming them from the sea, while at the same time increasing its coastal resilience. A good recent example is represented by the Flevo Polders, land reclamation in the former sea now called Ijssel lake, created by the construction of the 30 km “Afsluitdijk” closure dike. The South-west of the Netherlands was hit by a disaster storm in 1953 but the land below sea level is now well protected by an ingenious and extensive system of storm surge barriers, dams and dikes: the famous Dutch Delta Works. Storm surge barriers can be closed to protect the country during heavy storms but allow for navigation to and from the busy Port of Rotterdam and Amsterdam under normal conditions when the barriers remain open. The expertise that was developed in the Netherlands is now applied across the globe in coastal areas and cities threatened by hurricanes, storm surges sea level rise, and to develop new land. This presentation will discuss the most recent and innovative global developments on coastal flood resiliency, urban climate adaptation and land reclamation. Starting from Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the Dutch delta, the audience will be taken on a tour to New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, Miami and several other US cities, and from there to Asia, to Singapore, Bangkok, Shanghai, Yangon and Jakarta. The speaker will talk from his personal experience about recent flood event and hurricanes, describe the impacts and talk about measures taken. He will give personal vision on how cities can reclaim land and be best be prepared and become more resilient, and how they can turn with a pro-active approach the challenges into opportunities. The speaker will also discuss the activities of the famous 100 Resilient Cities Program, pioneered of Rockefeller Foundation, of which he is a partner, as well as possibilities for funding urban flood resilience.



Free of Charge.



Mr. Piet Dircke, Global Leader – Water Management at ARCADIS

Piet Dircke is ARCADIS’ Global Leader for Water Management. He has more than 33 years’ experience on five continents in water management, city resiliency, flood protection, waterfront development and climate change adaptation. He was Professor in Urban Water Management at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences from 2007 to 2014. Since 2015, he is ARCADIS’ representative as a Platform Partner with 100 Resilient Cities, pioneered by Rockefeller Foundation. Global Leader - Water Management at ARCADIS Mr. Dircke has led several Dutch-Indonesian review missions to Jakarta and was responsible for project definition and review for Jakarta National Capital Integrated Coastal Development Masterplan. He was responsible for the preparation of the TOR of the Delta Plan 2100 for Bangladesh and launching a national IWRM Master Plan study for Myanmar. He participated in preparing Conceptual Plan for Flood Protection and Climate Adaptation for Thailand and Bangkok. He advised in Vietnam on the review of the Binh Quoi Thanh Da Island Development in Ho Chi Min City and on the first phase for the Red River Urban Development Masterplan in Hanoi. In 2018 he was the leader of the Dutch RVO scoping mission to Semarang, Indonesia, to identify and prepare for Dutch funded projects in coastal zone management and flood protection, and urban water projects, to be combined with cultural heritage of the old city centre. After Hurricane Katrina, he assisted the District of the New Orleans US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in planning and designing Hurricane Protection. He was advisor on the conceptual design of the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal Flood Gates and Alternatives Study in New Orleans and participated in the New Orleans Dutch Dialogues and the New Orleans Urban Water Plan. In California he worked on projects on sea level rise and water front development in the San Francisco Bay. In New York after Hurricane Sandy he worked on a number of projects on community resiliency, flood protection and waterfront development in Manhattan and Brooklyn. He is advisor to New York City MTA on flood resiliency of critical infrastructure. He was also advisor on the Southern Manhattan Coastal Protection Feasibility Study, and on the Manhattan ESCR East Side Coastal Resilience Project.


Registration & Enquiries

The seminar will be conducted in English. Presentation materials will be in English.

The number of participants is limited to 120 and priority will be given to members of Civil Division and previous registered participants. Please complete the on-line registration at Email registration will not be accepted. Only successful applicants will be informed by email.

For enquiries, please contact: Ms Yuki Leung via email:


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