A Vision For Charleston's Future

Charleston’s future depends upon how well the City and surrounding counties invest to adapt and preserve physical assets, underlying economies of medicine, education, tourism and trade, and enhance residents’ quality of life. Given Charleston’s abundant natural and man-made assets, creatively linking spatial planning, integrated water management, infrastructure and development will yield a compelling vision for Charleston’s future. This process will present a fundamental shift in how we approach the problem of flooding, offering a holistic way of thinking about water, its impacts, and its benefits.

To create that vision, Historic Charleston Foundation and the City of Charleston have launched Dutch Dialogues Charleston, a collaborative effort bringing together national and international water experts working alongside Charleston’s local teams to conceptualize a Living With Water™ future. This new way of thinking about water, land, and people with multiple benefits will provide near- and long-term value to Charleston.

What is the Dutch Dialogues Process?

Over 800 years of living at the water’s edge make the Dutch experts in water adaptation. Flooding cannot be “fixed;” however as the Dutch have learned, risk can be reduced. Their approach combines integrated planning with urban landscape design. The Dutch Dialogues, through a collaborative effort with city, professional, academic and community leaders in planning, stormwater management, resiliency and other interests, will bring an integrated approach, tying together numerous entities, collectively working to manage water. Dutch Dialogues Charleston will be directed and coordinated by Waggonner & Ball, LLC, The Water Institute of the Gulf and the Royal Netherlands Embassy, Washington, DC, alongside key Charleston-region partners.

Dutch Dialogues History  |  Dutch Dialogues Team Bios

Photo Credit: Jared Bramblett

Highlights from the Dutch Dialogues Charleston Colloquium May 2019.

Colloquium Summary

Areas of Study

The Dutch Dialogues team will study four distinct typologies in Charleston, strategically selected as representative of the area. Approaches and design-solutions for these areas will be replicated to address other areas of the city with similar typography and needs.

  1. Lockwood Corridor/Medical District An area with a great deal of urban infrastructure
  2. New Market & Vardell’s Creek Area At the footprint of the old Cooper River bridge, a low-lying re-development area
  3. Johns Island A rural area under heavy development and infrastructure challenges
  4. Church Creek A highly suburbanized area

Our Partners

Historic Charleston Foundation
The City of Charleston
Waggonner & Ball
The Water Institute of the Gulf
Kingdom of the Netherlands
American Flood Coalition
Charleston Water System
Clemson Design Center Charleston
Medical University of South Carolina
The Nature Conservancy

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