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date: 30 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Polder is a Dutch word that occurs in many world languages. As sea level rises and coastal cities subside, the polder is a preferred way to protect land from flooding. Because polder combines infrastructure with governance and social resilience, the translation of polder involves more than finding a linguistic equivalent. Successful translation of polder as both a term and an approach to water management depends on the openness of the translation process to adaptations called for by the local language, culture, climate, and terrain. This chapter begins with cultural histories of the polder in The Netherlands and Indonesia and concludes with close analysis of the translation process as it played out in Water as Leverage for Asian Cities, a Dutch urban design initiative that took place in Semarang, Indonesia in 2018–2019.

Keywords: climate change, flooding, Indonesia, kampung, The Netherlands, polder, sea-level rise, subsidence, translation, water as leverage

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