The big undertaking of accomplishing the railway system in the US: the location where East and West shook hands
, hugely informed American land-art artist Robert Smithson’s decision of where to locate the Spiral Jetty
. The Great Railway thus resulted directly, one could say, in this work of land art.
The ambition of the initiators of the land reclamation project in the port of Rotterdam, Maasvlakte 2
(MV2) is not un-similar to those of the builders of the Great Railway.
The creation of MV2 aims to offer the port of Rotterdam the opportunity to retain and expand its leading position in Europe during the coming decades, thus enabling Rotterdam to continue to intensify its indispensable hinterland connections. The importance of economic growth, and a wide range of labour opportunities supported by a large infrastructure of services and transportation links to the rest of Europe will secure Rotterdam as a major port. To achieve this, MV2 is being formed after many years of discussion and preparation. Reclaimed land will slowly emerge in time through the construction of beach, sand dunes, rubble and concrete blocks as a sea defence. Inside these defences, sand taken from carefully selected locations at sea will make land, and soon, the sea defence will be closed and land will ‘shake hand’