Dutch Dikes

The Netherlands

Type research, publication
Research 2011-2014
Location The Netherlands
Publication december 2014 (first edition) februari 2015 (second edition)
Publisher NAI010 uitgevers
Graphic design Koehorst in ‘t Veld
Partners Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, Deltares, Dienst Landelijk Gebied (DLG), Hoogheemraadschap Hollands Noorderkwartier, Hoogheemraadschap Rijnland, Hoogwaterbeschermingsprogramma, Rijksdienst voor het Culturele Erfgoed

Approximately 9.4 million people live in the Netherlands behind the dikes. The Dutch are never 100% safe behind their dikes: in a high water situation these people may face a major flood.

Subsidence and changing climate have major impact on the Dutch delta and the Dutch dike system. They led in 2014 to the start of the new Delta Plan: by 2050, the Netherlands must be climate-proof, by ensuring that the dikes can be adapted to climate conditions. This is why building, reinforcing and maintaining the networks of dikes is a never-ending task. Dutch Dikes presents an overview of the dikes in their current state, as well as it offers a look towards the future.

What would the Netherlands be without dikes? One thing is certain: it would not exist in its current form. Knowledge and practice about building and maintaining dikes together in one overview is the main result of the research. This knowledge contributes to the Delta Plan and has got a couple of firsts: the dike map, showing the location of the Dutch Dikes and their role in the network, flood defence or not. From winter dikes to summer dikes, from sea dikes to waterline dikes, and from dreamers to guardians: all types of dikes are brought together in a unique, systematic genealogy. With 43 different dike types and 9 different dike systems the Netherlands has got the most elaborate and diverse dikes network in the world.

Dutch Dikes offers a complete overview of the Netherlands’ most important invention: the dike. Based on the first map of dikes in the Netherlands, the dikes are characterised, explained and categorised in all their diversity. In addition, the book features a surplus of dike anecdotes and in-depth portrayals of 40 of the 100 most remarkable Dutch dikes. The authors show the technical, cultural and historical sides of the dikes, as well as a glimpse of the future: the Dutch dikes as the parks of the twenty-first century.

Everything about Dutch dikes in one book (324 pages)

The first complete map of dikes of the Netherlands

Historical Floods

Flood prone areas

The book is filled with photos taken on a 10.000 km tour through the Netherlands

Dike type Canal Dike

Dike Type Closed Dam

Dike type Kadijk

Dike type Floating Barrier

Dike type Winter Dike

In total there are 43 different types of dikes in the Netherlands

There are nine different dike systems: coherent constructions of different dike types in one system

Randomly taken spreads from Dutch Dikes

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