Global Challenge of Rising Water Session 2

January 19, 2022 | 2:00-4:00 PM EST |

Public Session 2 (of 3) on January 19, 2022 –

Rebuild by Design: The Case of New York City

This event provides participants an international perspective in exploring the roles of business, government, and non-governmental organizations in combating the threat of rising seas due to climate change. It offers WFU students and viewers interested in climate change a chance to engage with an international group of experts who are working right now to make the U.S. more resilient. You do not have to be an enrolled student to view the livestream discussion.Special topics in business: Global Challenge of Rising Water on January 19 at 2:00 eastern. Guests are Amy Chester with Rebuild by Design and Edgar Westerhof of Arcadis.

Developing a shared narrative for large scale water resilience is complex. Although the Dutch have turned the problem of water management into a global economic opportunity, they have faced many challenges. Edgar will describe the successes and challenges Dutch companies have had in applying “polder model” approaches when creating partnerships that lay the groundwork for international engineering, planning, and consulting contracts. As a case study, Edgar and Amy will discuss Arcadis, Rebuild by Design, and the Big U project in New York City. Rebuild by Design is a collaborative research and design project, and the Big U is an engineering project designed to protect lower Manhattan from rising water.

  • Amy Chester is the Managing Director of Rebuild by Design where she lead an international design-driven competition bringing together 10 design teams consisting of over 200 individuals and more than 700 government agencies and community organizations who co-created the proposals that utilized a truly inclusive and collaborative process to create implementable large-scale infrastructure projects to address the physical and social vulnerabilities exposed by Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast United States. Rebuild by Design now works with cities around the world to use the same collaborative process to address issues of climate change.
  • Edgar Westerhof is the National Director for Flood Risk and Resiliency in North America and the Associate Vice President at Arcadis USA.  Edgar lead 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 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.

Amy and Edgar will discuss the difficulties of transplanting Dutch models to a new institutional environment and consider questions, including: What was expected? What has worked and what did not? What administrative system and visions of responsibilities helped and hindered the effort?

Visit the website for additional details about the course in which this event is affiliated:

Join us for the final public session on January 26 when we welcome additional international experts.