February 18, 2013

How to build bigger floodplains

Filed under: Nature,Sustainability by Branko Collin @ 1:08 pm

‘Room for the River’ is a Dutch state project that intends to widen the floodplains of the major rivers.

The project does something that is quite rare for the Dutch, it gives land back to the water. In 1993 and 1995 we had major river floods, the latter even leading to the evacuation of 250,000 people. Geographically, the Netherlands is a river delta, and the Dutch have always had to live with river floods. However, today the population pressure has made the consequences of floods much more expensive.

As the project website says: “The rivers are wedged between increasingly higher dikes behind which more and more people live. At the same time, the land behind the dikes has sunk. It is also raining more often and harder, causing rivers to swell. Water levels are rising and so is the chance of floods with a large impact on people, animals, infrastructure and the economy.”

The New York Times has visited one of those projects and uses it for an opinion piece on how big government is good.

Short read: The Ruimte voor de Rivier site has Nine easy infographics on how to give the river room.

(Photo: Waal beach by Rijkswaterstaat / Ruimte voor de Rivier / Martin van Lokven)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

December 12, 2010

Infographic: Palestinian-Israeli conflict projected onto the Netherlands

Filed under: Design by Branko Collin @ 12:46 pm

What if it had been the Frisians who had suffered a holocaust in say, the United States of America? Journalist Joris Luyendijk pondered the possibility in a short alternate history in his book ‘Het zijn net mensen’ (They are almost like people).

The Frisians will have their own state, and what place could be more logical than the ancient home land? Despite protests from the Dutch the United Nations agree to the plan, and from the entire world people of Frisian descent flock towards the new state of Frisia, well sponsored by the Americans.


A peace process follows, and the Dutch get allotted Limburg, a small part of Zeeland and chunks of Noord Brabant. Those regions are not allowed to be called The Netherlands, the country is not allowed to have an army, and the borders are continuously guarded by Frisian troops.

Graphical design student Ruiter Janssen (Willem de Koning Academie) was inspired by this fragment to create the above info graphic—called The Frisian-Dutch Conflict—which was then published by NRC in February of this year.

Tags: , , , ,

June 21, 2008

How to replace a football pitch

Filed under: Sports by Branko Collin @ 4:02 pm

Algemeen Dagblad has a detailed infographic (Dutch) that explains exactly how the football pitch at the St. Jakob Park stadium was replaced just in time for the match Portugal – Germany of last Thursday.

According to the graphic, on Wednesday, June 11 heavy rainfall combined with the match Switzerland – Turkey damaged the pitch that was there to the point that it could no longer be used. Two days later, new grass was ordered. Monday June 16, 25 trucks and 1 bus left the lot of Hendriks Graszoden in Heythuisen Limburg. 23 of the trucks carried the rolls of grass, 2 contained equipment. The bus was for the 11 workers.

After the original grass was removed (revealing the artificial pitch that FC Basel normally plays on), three layers were added: a thin plastic film, followed by a mixture of sand and clay (3.5 cm), followed by the grass (2 cm). A mix of two types of grass was used, one that had to provide cohesion and a second that’s good to play on.

Tuesday morning 4 a.m. the pitch was finished, and on Wednesday afternoon Portugal held its first practice session there. Before the match there were some doubts about the quality of the pitch, as it was coloured unevenly and the seams of the rolls of grass could clearly be seen. The match was played without a hitch though—except of course for Portugal, who lost—and afterwards UEFA declared it was entirely satisfied with the results of the operation which had cost them 200,000 euro. According to the International Herald Tribune, this was the first time a pitch was replaced during an international tournament.

Tags: , , ,