Dutch Aquatecture: Engineering a Future on the Water

The Netherlands is one of the lowest lying countries in the world. Over one-quarter of the nation lives below sea level.

As sea levels rise, the Dutch are preparing for the worst. Engineer David van Raalten is constructing new sea walls as part of a huge programme to eradicate weak links in the country's coastal protection.

But a growing number of urban planners and architects believe that as well as fighting rising sea levels it's time to find ways to live with the water.

Koen Olthuis calls himself an 'aquatect', an architect who uses water to help improve the design of a city and work with rising sea levels.

He has created over 100 floating houses in the Netherlands in the past 12 years, ranging from apartments to luxury villas but believes his technology can also make a big difference to people in poorer countries who are most vulnerable to rising seas.

Russell Beard travels to the Dutch coast to see how the Netherlands is engineering a future on the water.

Tokyo's Flood Tunnels

Greater Tokyo is the largest city in the world. Home to over 35 million people, the city is built on a floodplain interlaced with more than 100 rivers and it is also one of the densest cities in the world.

This means when Tokyo's crowded urban landscape is hit with torrential rain there is nowhere for the excess water to go, placing the busy metropolis at the substantial risk of flooding. But urban planners have come up with a simple solution to this dilemma: go underground.

Beneath the busy streets of Tokyo, engineers have built an extensive network of 10-metre wide tunnels, a storm water tank able to hold 670,000 cubic metres of water and shafts 70 metres deep.

Join Rachel Mealey in Tokyo, Japan, to see how this "underwater river system" is helping shield the megacity from the threat of flooding.

Afghanistan's Female Wardens

Northern Afghanistan's Bamiyan province is an area better known for the Taliban's destruction of two giant Buddha statues in 2001 than for its ecotourism. But its pristine lakes and limestone cliffs are home to the country's first national park, the stunning Band-e-Amir.

However, decades of war have eroded the area's natural wonders with local villagers hunting the wildlife, overfishing the lakes and chopping down the forests just to survive.

But as the country slowly moves to rebuild itself; there are new signs of life. In a country where only 16 percent of women work not only is the park doing groundbreaking conservation work, it is also challenging gender stereotypes by hiring four female wardens.

From protecting endangered species from poaching to working with locals to end unsustainable practices, Afghani women are joining the battle to protect this precious ecosystem.

Join Gelareh Darabi in Afghanistan's Band-e-Amir National Park to meet the female rangers tackling stereotypes and helping rebuild a nation through conservation.

Source: Al Jazeera