Comprehensive Flood Mitigation Planning: Exchange of Lessons Between Alexandria and Hamburg

12:00 ET // 17:00 CET

Register HERE | Zoom link provided with registration

Like many local governments located along coasts, the City of Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County and Prince William County must plan, design, budget and maintain long-term flood protection programs. But the urgent challenges from floods emanating from sea-level rise and more frequent and intense storm events create tension for local governments who must choose between high costs and effectively performing flood mitigation systems. 

Across the Atlantic, the City of Hamburg has pioneered the planning and application of advanced comprehensive flood mitigation planning systems at the micro- and macro levels. Hamburg’s decades of planning reflect a unique fusion of active and passive engineering, storm-surge protection, stormwater conveyance, monitoring, multiple self-deployable flood barriers. The union of these planning, design and engineering tools has parked Hamburg at the center of climate resilient planning.  

Please join the City of Alexandria, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission and George Mason University’s Institute for a Sustainable Earth and Virginia Climate Center for a webinar on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, from 12:00pm – 1:15pm (EST) for a discussion on the City’s unique long- and short-term planning processes to protect it from floods and promote comprehensive climate resiliency. The webinar will feature Mr. Uwe A. Carstensen, a consultant for the City of Hamburg and its “HafenCity” project, and profile opportunities for collaboration and lesson learning across the Atlantic that might inform and shape climate resilient planning in the region. 


12:00pm (EST)  Welcome/Introduction

12:05pm (EST)  The case of the Hamburg, Germany & Alexandria, Virginia

12:40pm (EST)  Question and Answer (with the audience/participants)

1:15pm (EST)    Close


Mr. Uwe A. Carstensen: A freelance consultant in the field of urban development, urban redevelopment and building culture.  Carstensen was born in 1968 and holds a University-Degree (Diploma) in Architecture from Technische Universität Braunschweig, where he took up his studies as a trained carpenter and cabinetmaker. After graduating in 2000, he started working for the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. In 2003 Carstensen joined the state-owned city development company HafenCity Hamburg GmbH as assistant to the executives before going freelance in 2006. As a freelancer with a focus on target group communications Carstensen accompanied the realization of the International Building Exhibition Hamburg 2013 from planning to implementation. Mr. Carstensen has worked for various city development projects regarding e.g. the University of Hamburg and regularly commissioned as an expert guide for HafenCity Hamburg.

Matthew Landes, PLA, CCM, ISA: Division Chief in the Department of Project Implementation. He is a Licensed Landscape Architect, Certified Construction Manager, and Certified Arborist.  Landes serves as the Program Manager for the City's Waterfront Implementation Program, Project Manager for the Waterfront Flood Mitigation Project, and is the Portfolio Manager for several sponsor project portfolios for the Parks and Recreation Department and the Office of Historic Alexandria. Matt started with the City in 2015 as a Principal Planner and Landscape Architect after practicing as a Professional Landscape Architect and Certified Arborist in the private sector with a special focus on Green Infrastructure, Low Impact Development strategies, and secure site design. 

Daniel Medina, PhD, PE: Stormwater Program Manager for the City of Alexandria, Virginia. He has 30 years of experience in water resource planning and program implementation. He obtained his Civil Engineering degree from Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia and obtained a PhD from Cornell University. His experience encompasses a wide array of water resources areas, especially in urban water issues including flood risk management, water supply, watershed restoration, and climate resilience. He has led projects in North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean. He was invited to testify before the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee on the effects of uncontrolled highway runoff on receiving waters. He is a consultant for the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.