While many countries in the Global South are facing water challenges on a daily basis, the engineered invisibility of water has become a vulnerability in many countries in the Global North. Are we aware of the increased pressure that is put on our water resources; the political power struggle and social inequality that accompanies H20; and the aquatic urgency of active policies to redesign our urban areas, now and in the future? During AMS Science for the City #7, we introduce the book and online platform 'Under Pressure: Water and the City’, while diving into the interlinked world of water, blood and money in a global urban context.
Our demands on the biosphere are growing at such an exponential pace we have disrupted the dynamic equilibrium of the compound most integral to life: water (H20).
Cities are facing a number of global crises that pose an existential threat to civilization as we know it, and all of them are related to the same compound: water. From hyper urbanization, population growth, the degradation of ecosystems and the effects of climate change (drought, flooding), to the lack of resources and clean water and our current lifestyles and diets: all of these challenges are related to the position of water in cities, and are directly related to issues of power, inequality, governance and money.
During this session, we dive into the themes of water, blood and money during the launch of ‘Under Pressure: Water and the City‘ (2017) with:
- The two authors of Under Pressure, Arjan van Timmeren (AMS Institute) and Laurence Henriquez (AMS Institute), will explain the urgency of this research project. Throughout the event, they will introduce us to the humane stories that are related to the global challenges of water in cities, by giving two short interludes from the book.
But what are the biggest ‘water challenges’ that cities face today -and in the (near) future; how do these challenges differ in various parts of the world; and which steps should be taken to make the future more water proof/resilient/secure? Various guest speakers will reflect on the book and its themes from their various perspectives:
- Lot Locher is Strategic advisor at Waternet & Programme Strategist at Amsterdam Rainproof. Which role does water play in the city of Amsterdam, and which risks are we facing?
- Erik Swyngedouw is Professor of Geography at the University of Manchester, and author of a.o. the book Liquid Power. Should water always be seen as a political issue?
- Nick van de Giesen is Principal Investigator Urban Climate Resilience at the AMS Institute & Professor at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, holding the chair of Water Resources Management at TU Delft. How big are the existing challenges that water poses?
- Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin is an Architect & (Landscape) Urbanist, Assistant Professor Section Urban Design & Research Leader/Coordinator of Education Delta Urbanism Interdisciplinary Research Program, TU Delft. Which steps can we take to create more resilient cities?
About ‘Under Pressure’
Prof. Arjan van Timmeren & Laurence Henriquez dove into the world of water and cities, by developing the project ‘Under Pressure’: a book and digital platform that tries to reveal the hidden linkages between Water, Blood & Money within our own lives, by bringing greater visibility to this substance ‘most integral to life’.
In doing so, Van Timmeren and Henriquez don’t only analyse water in its current state, but also discuss solutions for the future governance of water in cities.
The book will be available at the end of the event and is available online at the AMS Institute.