Underwater: the relationship city-water in Zuid Holland | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
Enero 2014
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The Netherlands has a coastline of over 400 miles but they have always been characterized by an uneasy relationship with the sea. Because of geomorphology that puts the country on average 5 meters below sea level, the Dutch urban planning, at all levels of government, has always questioned the need to defend themselves from river and marine flooding; over the centuries it has developed a pragmatic approach , enshrined in various national laws and in the establishment of the Ministry of Water Management, which has set as its main objective the defense of the territory from the water. At the moment about 75 % of the Dutch coast is protected by sand dunes that vary its length from 100 meters to several kilometers, 15% of the coast is made up of man-made constructions "hard" structures such as dams, and artificial barriers, while 10% remaining is characterized by flat and very extensive beaches.

The relationship between land and sea in the Netherlands has always been characterized by a twofold consideration, the positive sea beach, home of leisure and recreation, fishing and yachting venue; but on the other hand, perhaps the most important, the the sea is seen as Gevaar, as danger and as such must be considered when planning the structure of a future city.

In this article, we wanted to investigate this planning approach investigating the coastal area of the city of The Hague, Scheveningen, which is for many centuries considered the most important beach in the country but that, in addition to being home to recreational activities, ricreative & Wellness is constantly faced with the danger of flooding . The dunes defense by the water were in time transformed into a successful waterfront through the project by architect Manuel de Solà Morales, but the same coastline is still affected by numerous urban contradictions; a greatest example of this is the structure of De Pier.

Autores y editores

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Maurizio Francesco Errigo
Fabiola Arcuri


Proveedor de datos

Foco geográfico

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