International resilience expert Henk Ovink recently visited the Tampa Bay region and provided progress on resilience efforts happening around the world. Some of the most inventive concepts included parking lots under man-made structures that act as flood barriers, roofs covered in vegetation that absorb storm water, and highway overpasses with walls that can divert flood waters.
Ovink, who serves as the Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Netherlands, was also a senior advisor to the U.S. government in rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Sandy. He discussed innovative projects taking place in the Netherlands, as well as in areas of New York and New Jersey that were hit by Hurricane Sandy. Only about a third of Ovink’s homeland is above sea level, so the Netherlands has made water management a priority for centuries. Ovink concluded the hour-long talk by complimenting the recent climate change planning efforts occurring in the Tampa Bay region.