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Old December 21st, 2007, 08:28 PM   #1
Don Omar
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Dutch plan to build a new 'Tulip' island

Dubai watch out for the Dutch

Dutch plan to build a new island


Tulip island in the Netherlands as it would appear in a satellite image.

By Emma Thomasson Reuters
Published: December 10, 2007
iht.com

AMSTERDAM: The Netherlands wants to redraw the map of Europe - literally.

Dubai built Palm Island. Now the world leaders in land reclamation are considering an island in the shape of a tulip to fight overcrowding and shield the coastline from the rising sea.

Supporters of the scheme say it will give Dutch companies a chance to showcase water management skills that are increasingly in demand due to global warming, but critics say the plan will be prohibitively expensive and harm delicate ecosystems.

While a poll in October by the research company TNS NIPO with the Red Cross showed that the Dutch were more afraid of flooding than a terrorist attack, many have a strong faith in Dutch expertise and technology to protect them from the water.

The Dutch Parliament has asked a commission on coastal development to look into the idea of building islands in the North Sea that could be used for housing, farming or a nature reserve, while at the same time helping to protect the coast.

"People live on top of each other in the Netherlands," said Joop Atsma, the Chritian Democrat politician who sponsored a parliamentary motion on building in the North Sea. "We are hungry for land. A huge area is needed for building."

Atsma says high land prices threaten the country's position as one of the world's exporter of agricultural products, and make a 100,000 hectare, or 247,000 acre, island potentially worth €10 billion, or $14.69 billion - enough of a return to fund the project.

A government body set up to promote innovation has drawn up proposals for an island about 50 kilometers, or 31 miles, long, sparking fierce debate which inspired one blogger to joke that a cannabis leaf may be a more suitable shape than the tulip on the formal plans.

"The Netherlands has a lot of know-how in terms of water," said Maria Henneman of Innovation Platform. "It exports this knowledge but it is missing out on innovation. More experiments are needed in the fields of alternative energy, tides and wind."

"Of course it is an expensive investment but with current technology a lot is possible."

The Netherlands, literally the Low Countries, has a long history of pioneering technology to help it claw back land from the sea and fight recurrent flooding.

U.S. officials sought advice from Dutch experts after floods devastated New Orleans in 2005, and Dutch companies have been involved in coastal developments worldwide.

The Dutch company Boskalis developed techniques during the Zuiderzee and Delta projects to become the world's largest dredger, helping reclaim land for Hong Kong's airport and now working on Oman's "Wave" project, a huge resort added to the coast.

Dubai's island, which juts into the shallow waters of the Gulf in the shape of a palm tree, was built by the Dutch marine contractor Van Oord using more than 100 million cubic meters, or 3,500 cubic feet, of sand.

"I live far below sea level and I have never had wet feet at home," Atsma said. "So much can be done with water management."

One of the world's most densely populated countries, with 16 million people living in an area about half the size of Scotland, a quarter of the Netherlands is below sea level and lies on the floodplains of three big rivers.

In 1932, work was completed on a mammoth 32-kilometer dike that closed the Zuiderzee off from the North Sea and allowed 1,650 square kilometers, or 640 square miles, of land to be drained.

After devastating floods in 1953 killed more than 1,800 people, the Dutch started one of the world's largest construction schemes, the Delta project, to raise dikes, close sea estuaries and build a huge storm-surge barrier.

"Funny shapes like tulips, clogs and windmills are a good way to start a debate, but they should not be considered as realistic," said Bert Groothuizen, spokesman for Van Oord, the builder of the Dubai palm island.

While Dubai's Gulf rarely sees waves above 2 meters, or 6.5 feet, high, the North Sea is much stormier with waves of up to 10 meters.

"The seaward protection must be stronger than in the Arabian Gulf which means that construction costs are greater," he said, adding it might be more realistic to extend Dutch beaches into the sea or move the main airport.

That idea was already floated after a plane crashed into an apartment block in Amsterdam in 1992, but it was shelved due to cost and environmental concerns. Nature-lovers have also scuttled plans to drain more land onshore.

Given rising sea levels, Van der Veen said it made more sense to protect existing land than build a new island.


An artist's rendition shows the Tulip Island in the Netherlands in this undated handout satellite photo. The Netherlands, world leaders in land reclamation, are considering an island in the shape of a tulip to fight overcrowding and shield the coastline from the rising sea.

Dutch debate building Tulip Island in North Sea - Reuters
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Old December 21st, 2007, 09:09 PM   #2
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Awesome
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Old December 21st, 2007, 11:00 PM   #3
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what about the earlier projects they abandoned?
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 01:46 AM   #4
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The wisdom of earlier land-reclamation programs has already been questioned and then they want to proceed with such a frivilous monstrosity? What's the point of building a tullip-shaped island so it looks good on satellite pictures? I hope the Dutch are smart enough to never allow the project get off the ground.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 06:32 AM   #5
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This project -does not- exist. More land reclamation was something that was tossed up by one member of parliament (the tulip shape was added as an inside joke, it would not have looked like that), but was pretty much rejected right away.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 11:09 AM   #6
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It looks quite attractive and has a symbolic value of the nation... but due to its unique "tulip" shape, is it possible for any expansion in the future (add more leaves to the tulip..perhaps)?
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 01:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shukie View Post
This project -does not- exist. More land reclamation was something that was tossed up by one member of parliament (the tulip shape was added as an inside joke, it would not have looked like that), but was pretty much rejected right away.
Thats what I suspected as well.

I would not support such a waste of money either, if I were from the Netherlands. I mean even if further land reclamation would seem to be justified, that tulip form is definitely not the most usefuel form of it
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 01:32 PM   #8
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Of course this tullip is a joke.
I remember studies to build a new airport before the shore. But they decided to expand Schiphol instead.

There are also plans to expand the port of Rotterdam further into the sea.

And in the Ijsselmeer, a former open inland sea where there is already of lot of landwinning done, there have been recent developments near Amsterdam.



The Ijsselmeer, former Zuiderzee is one of the biggest (the biggest?) landwinningprojects in history.
This map shows in green the 'polders':

Last edited by snot; December 22nd, 2007 at 01:51 PM.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 01:36 PM   #9
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In a country that after 40 years still debates a highway between Rotterdam and The Hague, and in which compromising and mediocracy are still very high values, projects like this won't ever happen here.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 02:33 PM   #10
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^ Just don't be that pessimistic buddy

But I've gotta agree, that it won't have the best chances to get build these days. And honestly I don't wanna have a "2nd Dubai" in Europe. It's a bit kitschy thou, but could look quite cool if done right.
Perhaps it'll be better to let these plans take dust.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 03:00 PM   #11
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..

Last edited by Ramses; September 2nd, 2010 at 11:33 PM.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 03:39 PM   #12
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It might be cool if we can build it, but "cool" cannot justify the excessive costs of this project.

It would be a lot cheaper to reclaim the IJsselmeer (former Southern sea).
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 05:05 PM   #13
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I'm good with land reclaimation, but one problem, what's with the stupid shape?
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 05:21 PM   #14
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Never seen tulips?

I like the symbolism, but it will be a lot cheaper and more functional to build a bigger and square shaped island.
The south end could be the location for the next Rotterdam port expansion (after Maasvlakte 2)
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 05:50 PM   #15
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If there's one nation that could this, then it would be the Dutch. However, if the Netherlands really is going to build an island in the North Sea, it's certainly not going to have a funny shape, Dutch people are to sober for that and very down to earth.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 10:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casawi View Post
... it's certainly not going to have a funny shape, Dutch people are to sober for that and very down to earth.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 10:16 PM   #17
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Well, it's true...
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 12:51 AM   #18
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Yes indeed ... Rembrand, Spyker (cars), Amsterdam's coffee shops
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Old July 18th, 2011, 02:47 AM   #19
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Sorry to bump so old a thread but I wonder, whatever came of this?
its not going ahead it seems clear but how exactly was it scuppered?
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Old July 18th, 2011, 08:31 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Sorry to bump so old a thread but I wonder, whatever came of this?
its not going ahead it seems clear but how exactly was it scuppered?
As you would've known had you read some of the replies to the thread, this was never an actual project. It was merely a hypothetical used for the debate of building in the north sea. More realistic ideas to come forward from this are focusing primarily on the creation of a number of islands further out in the sea to serve as additional storm protection, though those ideas are also not, currently, actual projects.
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