NetherlandsI live in Arnhem, a city with 145.000 people, near the German border in The Netherlands (17,000,000 people). The river Rhine divides the city into North and South. It's the most green city, the city with the most of Nature in the whole (tiny) country, by car you travel from coast to Germany within 2 hours, unless there's a jam.. This part of "Holland" as The Netherlands are called as well, is above sea-level. The most part is below "up to" 7 meters below Amsterdam National Level. Which is a huge mountain of water when you could see it straight before you.
But then we invented dikes and we have our dunes. We daily pump a huge amounts of water into the "IJsselmeer" (IJssel-lake) and the North sea.. The "IJssel" is a river as "De Vetch", "the Maas", "the Rhine" and "the Waal" are. Those rivers make us the main nation delivering goods from Rotterdam Harbour to Germany by water, and in the German speaking countries the population is about 100,000,000 people..
Dutch firms, on the moment, are helping Saint Louis defending it from the water together with the American National Reserves (or something like it).
But we to appear to have more rain and heavy showers due to the climate change, so we have to think about rearranging the water regulation systems.
Depends where you live, some parts are crazy, like around Amsterdam en Rotterdam Harbour, one of the biggest in the world. Other parts are very rural and easygoing. About 12% of the land is built on, we recovered a lot of land from the, now, lake in the middle of the country. Until the '30's of the former century this lake was a sea, connected to the North sea, also called the Southern Sea. ( Zuiderzee).
People still seem to think we walk on wooden shoes, well we don't, for that you have go to the main tourist attractions or even to "Holland, a city in the United States. I think situated in Michigan.
Big firms originally come from Holland, like Royal Dutch Shell, MAN, Hoogovens, Phillips, Several Banks etc... Some of them are international now. The main income (national Product) cone from the main companies, the firms in between 10 and 100 employees. There are a few very high standard universities, like the one in Delft and Amsterdam. In Arnhem we have a world famous Art and Fashion Academy.
Dutch people tend to be reasonably open minded, but not all of them!! We have our part of (in my opinion) fundamentalist Christian churches as well as the imported Muslim communities. With some exceptions living together is proceeding reasonably well. All though in harsh times positions harden.
As we are a country living of trade and transport, as well as of banking business, when the world economy is going down, we are. Luckily we have the Euro, luckily at one part and not so good on the other because the southern European countries aren't doing that well. Especially Greece is doing very bad. On the other hand there is Norway in the northern part of Europe, they are very rich, because of rich oil reserves and waterfalls of which they produce "white power". But then the Norwegian are not in the Euro-zone. The whole Euro zone is bigger in square miles as in amount of people then the USA is.
Would you like to know more? just ask...