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).
With amongst others:
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 a variety of speakers:
- The scientific director of the AMS Institute and co-author of Under Pressure, Arjan van Timmeren, explains the urgency of this research project and the importance of communicating this message to a broader audience.
- Laurence Henriquez (co-author & research fellow AMS Institute) introduces us to the human stories that are related to the global challenges of water in cities, by giving three short interludes into the themes of water, blood and money.
- Guestspeakers Nick van de Giesen (PI at AMS Institute and Prof. Water Resource Management at TU Delft), Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin (Urban Design – Delta Urbanism, TU Delft) and Lot Locher (Waternet, Amsterdam RainProof) reflect upon the challenges of water in Amsterdam. How does the city deal with challenges as flooding, drought and lack of (clean) water resources?
- Guestspeaker Erik Swyngedouw (professor of Geography at the University of Manchester) is author of a.o. the book Liquid Power, in which he demonstrates how water has become part of the processes of modernization and how -in doing so- every political project should always be seen as also an environmental project.
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 discusses possible solutions for the future governance of water in cities.
The book will be available at the end of the event & can be bought in your local bookstore.