Even in one of the most sustainable cities in the world where the ferries reign sovereign over the water, and a transportation culture of trains and bicycles promoted by major government incentives and an impressive reorganization of traffic in the city, the impact of human beings still exists. Even the places at risk are guilty for the situation of the Planet. The Netherlands is the country that still uses more pesticides per hectare. The same pesticides that benefit those beautiful tulips are the very same ones poisoning the Arctic and other regions on Earth. But the world may still have much to learn from the urban mobility of Amsterdam, examining how they make up for past mistakes.
Geographically Holland is part of the Netherlands, this name comes because these lands are below sea level. The country spends millions every year to contain the spread of the North Sea waters. There are approximately 16 000 km of levees that control the water level. Amsterdam for now can pay the bill to contain the waters of the oceans, but what about the poorest countries? Will they do the same? Maldives, Tuvalu and Bangladesh are completely condemned places. What do we save? And what will we abandon? We do not know. Other beings might be unable to make the same choices we make, and their fates may be more dramatic and uncertain.
In front of Amsterdam Central Station, we installed an inflatable doll that metaphorically symbolizes the planet and ask people what they do for “Mr. Planet”?
Some only watched, other ones banged on it, took pictures, assaulted it, surrounded it, gave it a hug, but the most common sense to the situation of the planet is still indifference, however some people give it some love, involve and protect it. If the planet were an individual would this person be happy?
The rise in sea level is an inconvenient truth and Amsterdam will not be immune. The country could only create, at an acceptable cost, technologies to solve a water elevation of up to 5m. At a specific point of the advance of oceans, the engineering solutions would be unable to hold back the water.