Holland is a fake country stolen from the sea artificially by dikes, pumps, dams, gates and bridges, says Koen Olthuis architect and owner of Waterstudio NL. If water seeps in, one better hope the infrastructure is flawless. Any breaks would cause much of the land that houses almost 700,000 people to submerge.
But it isn’t only in Holland. Ten of the world’s top cities are near waterfront which means concerns around rising waters should be at the forefront of development. It is to Olthuis who has made a 20-year career designing projects that would make human habitation on water not only doable but pleasurable.
“What we are trying to do is change mindsets,” he says. “Rising water is inevitable with glacier melt.”