In June 2015, Hampton engaged in the Dutch Dialogues Virginia, a workshop that brought together a wide variety of urban water management experts from New Orleans and the Netherlands — from engineers to planners — to meet with their counterparts in Hampton Roads to discuss ideas and solutions for the future.
After that meeting, the city managers of Hampton and Norfolk pledged to be leaders in coastal resiliency. Since then, Hampton has engaged Waggoner & Ball Architects (a firm based in New Orleans who were lead participants in the Dutch Dialogues workshop) to help gather data and develop an integrated approach, based on the Dutch approach to life at sea level. The Dutch motto is “living with the water.” Rather than look at flooding alone, this approach helps us integrate flood risk mitigation, engineering, urban design, environmental restoration, community assets, and economic development.
Since that time, Hampton’s efforts have evolved beyond the Dutch Dialogues workshop, and the city has embraced a city-wide initiative for improving resiliency throughout all departments and communities. Resilient Hampton goes deeper than the Dutch Dialogues, and considers approaches for the entire city. In short, the Dutch Dialogues was a great catalyst event for the work Hampton needs to do to be the place where residents and businesses can safely grow and thrive, and Resilient Hampton is how we will get there.