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Exporting Expertise? Rotterdam’s Planners and the Flood Adaptation Industry

MacAusland, Dorothy Brayton

The effects of climate change and its implications for flood-vulnerable cities have incentivized systematic knowledge exchanges among urban planning professionals globally. Rotterdam, a delta city with an extensive water-management background and an innovative urban design culture, has emerged as a leader in water-related planning and has shared its strategies with cities such as New Orleans and New York. This research investigates the ways in which the City of Rotterdam has positioned itself as a leader in climate adaptation planning and a center of knowledge exchange. The research seeks to identify whether and to what extent Rotterdam benefits from its enhanced international profile. Upon review of existing theory and interviews with Dutch and American planners, this research concludes that the City of Rotterdam's brand is strengthened by Dutch planners' international activities, but that any direct economic impact on the city has been negligible. Finally, it suggests that further investment into Rotterdam's local knowledge institutions and adaptation infrastructure could more efficiently serve the city's economy while maintaining its international profile.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Meisterlin, Leah M.
Degree
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
May 12, 2017