Leaders kick-off Dutch Dialogues project to find solutions to flooding problems

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – Flood experts from around the world are in Charleston today to help develop and design solutions for several major flooding challenges here in the Lowcountry.

City leaders say the Dutch Dialogues Charleston project will bring together national and international flooding experts, city leaders and nonprofit partners to develop a plan to mitigate flooding.

The proposed areas of focus include:


Lockwood Corridor/Medical District — This Corridor, which includes the Medical District, is a critical provider of essential services for City, County and other nearby residents. Currently, access is impaired by recurrent tidal and storm-related flooding.


Vardell’s and New Market Creek Area — Significant growth in the Vardell’s and New Market Creek Area requires planning for land use and water in a more comprehensive way. Given the low elevation, stormwater challenges, street flooding, unmet housing needs, and broader neighborhood development patterns, an Area Plan is needed to address the issues in a comprehensive way.


Johns Island — Given Johns Island’s projected growth, developing a set of best water management practices to mitigate current and predicted flood risk is essential. This is a challenging, multijurisdictional area with many infrastructure and growth-related challenges that demand a regional perspective. 


Church Creek — Church Creek is heavily urbanized, underutilized, and constrained and serves primarily as a drainage conduit and cause of flooding, not as a natural feature that also helps to effectively drain stormwater.  The Dutch Dialogues team will delve deeper into the settlement patterns and geography, land use and water storage, and discharge needs and upland opportunities before determining how best to propose interventions to lower flood risk and enhance post-event resiliency while ensuring the vitality and viability of the area.  

The Dutch Dialogues process will take place in four parts: Kick-off, data collection and analysis, a design workshop and design recommendations taking place January 16 through the summer of 2019.

Leaders close to the project say the Dutch Dialogues have successfully added new approaches to mitigate flood risks and order investments in New Orleans, Norfolk, Hampton, Bridgeport and is presently embedded into the Resilient Houston post-Harvey project.

The Charleston project will be directed and coordinated by Waggonner & Ball Architecture/Environment, The Water Institute of the Gulf and the Royal Netherlands Embassy, Washington, DC, alongside key Charleston-region partners.

Through the program, leaders will engage community, business, civic and political leaders to increase collaboration across disciplines and initiate a coordinated approach to flood risk mitigation in Charleston.

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg will kick-off the project Wednesday at noon.

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