The US-Netherlands Connection's Professional Program brings professionals to The Netherlands to participate in a global knowledge exchange in water management, infrastructure and resilience. The Dutch have dealt with water-related issues and challenges for over 1,000 years and have accumulated an extensive record of successful ways in which to deal with difficult and, at times, seemingly impossible circumstances. Begun in 2007, with over 130 alumni, USNC Pro provides opportunities for delegates to engage Dutch planning, engineering, government and business experts in some of the most innovative places where innovation is the word of the day. This opportunity to connect directly with those responsible for the planning, design, implementation and operation of those solutions.give rise to sharing that knowledge to help solve similar problems throughout the world.
|Day and Date||Morning and Afternoon Themes||Location|
|Monday, June 19 AM||Orientation and the Histroy of Dutch Water Management||UNESCO-IHE, Delft|
|PM||Exploring Dutch Governance in Water and Planning||RWS, The Hague|
|Tuesday, June 20 AM||Dutch Expertise in Research and Knowldege Transfer||Deltares, Delft|
|PM||Connecting Knowledge by Connecting People||Deltares, Delft|
|Wed., June 21 AM||Room for the River; The Nijmegen Case for Stakeholder Engagement||City of Nijmegen|
|PM||Using Public-Private Partnerships in Solving Large Challenges||Biesbosch National Park|
|Thursday, June 22 AM||Understanding 1953 and the Delta Plan||Watersnood Museum|
|PM||Protecting One of the worlds Largest Estuaries||Oosterscheldt, Zeeland|
|Friday, June 23 AM||Planning for a Vibrant Economy by Integrating Resilience||Port of Rotterdam|
|PM||Creating a Resilient City and Program Debrief||City of Rotterdam|
What USNC Pro Alumni have said:
As a coastal ecologist and the director of a non-profit policy research organization that conducts considerable research in protecting and restoring the U.S. Gulf coast and waterways around the world, I attended USNC Pro with an expectation that I would struggle to understand an engineering-heavy curriculum. To the contrary, the engineering was well explained and fascinating, but what I didn’t expect was the immense value of the entire program. Learning the Dutch perspective and emphasis on flood protection, green infrastructure, and novel design was incredibly valuable to my understanding of what is possible elsewhere. The priorities explained about how their novel, impressive efforts – for a small fraction of GDP – meet the top needs of their economy, culture and society have already informed our research elsewhere. Just as importantly, the networking opportunity has endured in the intervening years: I met new colleagues at USNC Pro that I continue to consult and seek new opportunities and insights with them...Gary Cecchine, Director, Rand Institute for the Gulf States
I have been part of the (USNC) United States Netherlands Connection Professional delegation for three consecutive years. Every year the trip has being a remarkable high-level professional and academic experience. The program fosters a unique and trendy educational environment in extramural settings where intellectual discourse flows unconcealed among established individuals in the public, private, academic and nonprofit sectors involved in coastal management. Every project visited or revisited, brings new depthless to the understanding of how the interface between water, people and the coastal land are managed in both countries; beyond cultural differences -as a passion and a necessity.
From getting to know the wonders of the Delph land (stolen from the ocean with sagacity and skill), to witnessing of the majesty of The Maeslantkering and The Oosterscheldekering storm surge barriers. This trip exposes us to these wonders of the world, that not only represent past history as the largest flood protection projects in the world, but by continuing to be iconic historical figures signaling not only the state of the art but the future of flood protection in the world. The Netherlands Delta Works Programme teaches us how to anticipating change, create knowledge, introduce social and technological innovation, as well as being a living example of well-planned long term sustainability paradigm. Both Netherlands and United states manage coastal areas and waterways with very different but mutually enlighten approaches.
I had been a coastal sediment manager for more than ten years, working for the Army Corps of Engineers, USC and the Scripps Institute of oceanography before my first visit with the USNC delegation. I found fascinating the way the Netherlands waterworks applies findings from basic science and engineering to enhance human safety and well-being in a practical way that achieves meaningful outcomes and shapes life on the Delfland as we know it. Recent disasters in the US and the way the country had responded to Katrina and Sandy super storms bring valuable experiences to the Netherlands establishing a tight communication between both countries. I had the opportunity to applying some of the theoretical principles of coastal management, oceanography , engineering and environmentally responsible land use, trough significant projects in my professional practice both, in Mexico and the US. But nothing prepared me for the grandiousness behind the Sand Engine project where miles of beach are now being propelled ashore by nature, or for the quiet charm behind the incredible power of 36 windmills used as water pumps to keep the structural integrity and the water level on the channels of Kinder-dike. Nothing but standing on the monumental ocean engineering of the Delta Works gave me an understanding of the scale and magnitude necessary for a project to be successful and to address the most complex and challenging water governance problems of our times.
Every trip has served to enlarge my professional and academic network with outstanding advanced practitioners. People that with different but interrelated expertise in policy, administration, architecture, engineering, environmental planning, waterfront development, u others, become willing to extend and share their resources and knowledge for a larger cause. The alumni of the USNC usually return to their practice to become a cadre for effective social, political, and economic change, bringing radical change within their current positions in response to complex problems such as Climate Change, Sea Level Rise, Coastal Erosion, Flooding, Salt water intrusion and others designing projects, initiatives, frameworks with a sharper global, political and cultural awareness.
As a professional doctorate, I strongly support and recommend USNC as a state of the art seed initiative for academic and quasi-academic projects related to coastal and water management research that may translate immediately into state of the art best practices and tangible benefits to society. Oc. Claudia Edith Avendano, Candidate for Doctor of Policy Planning and Development, University of Southern California