Ditching Dikes?

Rethinking our coastal defenses

The dikes along the Wadden Sea coast are the most prominent icons of our coastal defense system and strict legislation considering their management is prescribed by the government. At the same time, sea level rise forces us to rethink their form. Various initiatives, both in the Wadden Sea area and other parts of the Netherlands, are currently being carried out to explore alternative designs to ensure our safety.

The Young Wadden Academy organizes a conference to exchange ideas, perceptions, and visions on our attitude towards the sea and the dikes that separate us from it. The purpose of the provocative title ‘Ditching Dikes’ is to stimulate free thinking regarding consequences and possibilities of a Wadden area without dikes.  What are the implications for morphological, ecological and economic development? Could a landscape without dikes offer potential for agriculture, leisure and tourism? How would we manage and govern such landscapes? The multidisciplinary conference hosts state-of-the-art projects and research and addresses radical ideas from multiple perspectives. 

Morning program, plenary sessions: 

  • Bas Haring (philosopher, writer, tv-personality) will kick-off the program by providing thought provoking views on the topic.
  • Nynke Rixt Jukema (architect) will provide insight into cultural aspects in the coastal area
  • Karsten Reise (ecologist) explores the third dimension: Facing the Third Dimension in a Coastal Flatland
  • Stefan Hartman (urban planner) will explore tourism of the future: Tourism in the Wadden landscape of the future 

Afternoon program, workshops: 

  • Waterschappen
  • Waddenvereniging
  • IVN

Ditching dikes registration

Welcome to the ‘Ditching Dikes’ registration form. Ditching dikes is a conference organized by the Young Wadden Academy, June 22 and 23 in Leeuwarden at Stenden.  There is room in the afternoon programme on June 22 to present your own workshop, vision or alternative presentation. Please contact the organisation if you want to do so at events(at)ywa.nl. The excursion is on June 23. 

Registration form