It is well known that countries as the Netherlands, Japan and Vietnam have dealt their entire existence with water. This fact is no longer unique: due to climate change, also other countries have to face this problem. In fact, not only the sea level will rise but also the intensity and frequency of storms will increase. Hurricane Sandy proved that countries, who never had to deal with water, suffered major damage.
This paper will provide insight in the water management of the Netherlands, Japan and Vietnam. And will present applicable solutions for urban areas to protect communities. To understand these urban solutions, the context of the location will be analysed first. Each country has its own threats, climate as well as governmental approach and therefore different solutions are provided in case of dynamic water levels. Thereafter case studies in the cities of Hamburg, Tokyo and Ho Chi Min will illustrate how cities deal with dynamic water levels on a small scale. However, each location has its own challenges. Hafencity Hamburg had to deal with a lack of space for creating flood protection, while Tokyo has to deal with earthquakes, typhoons, volcanism and even tsunamis. The fast development of Ho Chi Min City, combined with the slower process of climate change, has forced their government to take a progressive approach. The applied tools in the different case studies are all dealing with the threat of climate change, even though some solutions are high-tech and others low-tech. The difference in applied tools depends on the local characteristics, policy and the available means. International collaborations and sharing knowledge can help to improve tools in urban areas in developed and underdeveloped countries.