Dutch Dialogues workshops combine Dutch approaches to integrated water management with American expertise to address water problems in U.S. cities such as flooding, poor water quality, sea level rise, and subsidence. The Dutch approach, acquired over centuries of living with water, integrates flood risk mitigation and engineering along with sustainable and resilient strategies in planning, urban design, environmental restoration, community amenities, and economic development. Initiated in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, Dutch Dialogues workshops have also been held in New York, Bridgeport, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, and Los Angeles.
In the Hampton Roads region - specifically the cities of Norfolk, Hampton, and Newport News - tidal flooding and storm surge are prime water management concerns. These urban areas also face poor drainage, environmental degradation, vulnerable public housing, and a lack of recreational water access. Examining bay, harbor, river, and inland stream conditions, the workshops sought opportunities that increase value as well as safety at multiple scales: region, city, and neighborhood. Dutch Dialogues Hampton Roads has resulted in or influenced several initiatives and projects throughout the region, including the HUD NDR Ohio Creek Watershed Project, Resilient Hampton, the Norfolk Resilience Strategy and Norfolk Vision 2100.