On 18 February, Arcadis’ Global Leader for Water Management, Piet Dircke arrived in Hong Kong to meet with key government, business and educational stakeholders to discuss a critical issue in Hong Kong: land reclamation. The week-long trip will see Dircke, who has 32 years’ experience in city resilience and flood protection, discuss the Polder method of reclamation and its potential application in Hong Kong projects.
Reclamation will play a large part in addressing Hong Kong’s land related challenges. In order for the government to meet the demands of current and future generations, they must consider all options to tackle the issue of land scarcity. Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam’s ‘Lantau Tomorrow Vision’ will look to build a group of islands that can cater for 1.1 million people. As the administration moves forward with this plan, the Polder method may provide a sustainable solution that Hong Kong needs.
Dircke will be presenting at the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce on best practices to widen the debate and better inform stakeholders. “There is huge opportunity for Hong Kong to consider alternative, more cost-effective and sustainable methods of land reclamation. I am excited to be sharing the Polder concept along with coastal resilience, a solution that can improve quality of life in Hong Kong for its citizens.” said Dircke.
The Polder method is an alternative to traditional reclamation, which is extremely costly due to the amount of sand that needs to be used, and in this case imported, to create new land above sea level. The Polder method instead creates a tract of land below sea level surrounded by dykes or walls to prevent seawater from entering. A network of drains and pumping stations keep the polder land dry, while a reservoir stores and circulates usable water. Polders tend to be more cost-effective and less damaging to the surrounding environment, an area of concern for the government and Hong Kong’s citizens.
The method originates from the Netherlands, where half the country lies at or below sea level. Over centuries, land has been reclaimed through the construction of around 3,000 Polders, and the method is increasingly used worldwide, including in Singapore. As a Dutch company, Arcadis has decades of technical experience dealing with water challenges, and has worked with many governments on coastal resilience, disaster prevention and conducting feasibility studies.
Arcadis is the leading global Design & Consultancy for natural and built assets. Applying our deep market sector insights and collective design, consultancy, engineering, project and management services we work in partnership with our clients to deliver exceptional and sustainable outcomes throughout the lifecycle of their natural and built assets. We are 27,000 people, active in over 70 countries that generate €3.2 billion in revenues. We support UN-Habitat with knowledge and expertise to improve the quality of life in rapidly growing cities around the world. www.arcadis.com
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