10/19 ‘Sweet&Salt: Water and the Dutch’

Please join us for a talk by Tracy Metz, introduced by Ashley Dawson

‘Sweet&Salt: Water and the Dutch’

October 19, 6:30 PM room c201

The Dutch are past masters at keeping the water out of their low-lying country: in the Netherlands the art of water management was born of pure necessity. Over half the nation’s income is earned below sea level, and the attitude has always been that long-term prevention is better than repair after the fact. Water was the enemy and man exercised dominion over it, using all the increasingly sophisticated technology at his disposal. But the climate is changing and the Dutch, ever at the forefront of water innovation, are discovering that working together with nature is in the long run a safer bet. Urban designers , landscape architects and engineers are collaborating on ways to store water and avert flooding while at the same time making the cities cooler and more attractive. These ideas and designs – ‘the Dutch approach’ to the water-driven makeover of the landscape – are drawing interest all over the world, as many regions and urban areas find themselves confronted with water, both too little of it and too much.

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Tracy Metz is a journalist, author and presenter originally from California but based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Her most recent book is ‘Sweet&Salt: Water and the Dutch’, about the innovative approach the Netherlands are now taking to dealing with water. She is the director of the John Adams Institute, the independent podium for American culture in the Netherlands. She also has a monthly live talkshow and digital magazine called Stadsleven, ‘City Life’, about the issues – including water – now confronting the world’s cities. She writes for newspapers and magazines in the Netherlands and is an international correspondent for Architectural Record. Following her Loeb Fellowship at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design she was appointed a visiting fellow. She speaks frequently on water issues in the Netherlands and abroad. www.tracymetz.nl | www.john-adams.nl | www.stadslevenamsterdam.nl

Ashley Dawson is Professor of English at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center and at the College of Staten Island/CUNY. He is the author of Extinction: A Radical History (forthcoming from O/R Press), The Routledge Concise History of Twentieth-Century British Literature (2013) and Mongrel Nation: Diasporic Culture and the Making of Postcolonial Britain (Michigan, 2007). He is also co-editor of four essay collections: Against Apartheid: The Case for Boycotting Israeli Universities (Haymarket, forthcoming), Democracy, the State, and the Struggle for Global Justice (Routledge, 2009); Dangerous Professors: Academic Freedom and the National Security Campus (Michigan, 2009); and Exceptional State: Contemporary U.S. Culture and the New Imperialism (Duke, 2007). A former editor of Social Text Online[socialtextjournal.org] and of the AAUP’s Journal of Academic Freedom[aaup.org], he is currently completing work on a book entitled Extreme City: Climate Change and the Urban Future for Verso Press.


This event is sponsored by the Center for Place, Culture and Politics.  It is free and open to the public.

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