the ‘room for the river’ program

while the mississippi continues to flood across america, we are learning more and more how ‘engineered’ this body of water really is. by ‘activating the floodway’ the us army corps of engineers can control flow to move water away from larger population areas. yet we still have cities flooding and people being relocated and lots of damage done. in other words, maybe there’s a better way…

the room for the river program is a dutch initiative being implemented in key locations around the netherlands to keep overflowing rivers away from cities. by understanding that rivers do and will expand, the project looks are ways to allow for this water to overflow by removing barriers that create block ups, widening the open areas around rivers, adding additional dikes to contain overflow, and even moving the dikes and increasing river depths in some areas.

there is an interesting video about this project online at the Washington Post which i cannot get to properly embed on this blog but you can watch it here

or at

for more information there is also a Room for the River website

the hole

via bldgblog:

A neighborhood in Brooklyn known as “The Hole” is thirty feet below sea level. It is so close to the water table, in fact, that local homes are not connected to the city’s sewer system, relying instead on cesspools; the streets—with names like Ruby, Emerald, and Sapphire—are often flooded, on the verge of permanently returning to marshland. The Hole is a short documentary by Courtney Sell and Billy Feldman about this neighborhood; cowboys on horseback wander through water-logged streets while abandoned housing developments soak up rain like giant sponges.