Dutch Dialogues: Session 2

Vardell’s Creek/New Market Creek Design Workshop

The Charleston Trident Association of REALTORS® have been participating in the Dutch Dialogues Charleston as part of our affiliation with the American Flood Coalition.  In May, we reviewed the initial colloquium session with the team from Louisiana and the Netherlands.  The team returned the week of July 15–19 for an intense, deep dive workshop of the four vulnerable areas of the city.  We examined the Lockwood Corridor/Medical-Hospital District, Church Creek Basin, Johns Island and the Vardell’s Creek/New Market Creek drainage basins; each provide their own set of challenges but also share common threads.

Sketch by Charleston Native: Mac Ball, Jr. of Waggoner & Ball

Throughout the week, we discussed a panoply of issues.  Global leaders in water management collaborated with local experts to find solutions for our relationship with water.  We had conversations pertaining to ecology, geology, hydrology, design standards, and other topics but the item we came back to across the four areas was psychology.

How we look, feel, act and think about water has to evolve in order to coexist with water.  From the government to the citizens, we need to reevaluate our approach to water in order to have a relationship with it.  The survival of our community is predicated on that basic premise, and a fundamental shift is what will guarantee our success.


Future Design Opportunity: Sketch by the Waggoner & Ball Team

Water is a resource we enjoy for recreation, but not for a livable community.  As a community, we must become adaptive in nature to water.  Water is not concerned with political or geographical boundaries; therefore, we should not try to confine it to a particular jurisdiction.  We need to look at water not as the adversary, but as an asset.

This new approach will lend innovative opportunities and engage us in exciting and creative ways.  In order to accomplish these lofty goals, we must work together and not as individual entities.  Engaging the public and private sectors and working with our stakeholder partners, we will create a true community collaboration and ensure we are designing a community that will last another 350 years.  The Dialogues will resume on Thursday, September 26, and at 6:00 pm in the Gaillard Center, the final suggestions will be presented by the Dutch Dialogues team.

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