Water and the City: How Citizens Respond to Flooding

Environmental Humanities Center Event
Symposium on World Water Day
Friday 23 March 2018, Afternoon
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Climate change, increasing rainfall, sea level rise, and flood risk pose significant challenges for low-lying countries such as The Netherlands. Historically, Amsterdam has devised a number of strategies to deal with water problems in the city. In this symposium organized at the occasion of World Water Day, we look back to ingenuous solutions and cultural practices of the past, and look forward to new forms of urban design and ‘hydrocitizenship’. Hydrocitizenship (‘waterburgerschap’) is a new concept in international scholarly debate among environmental historians and geographers, and environmental scientists. It encompasses heightened awareness of the meaning and value of water among citizens and both bottom-up and top-down community engagement for sustainable water management. This can vary from individual citizens collecting the rainwater on their roofs in tons and making their gardens absorbing more rain, to cities constructing small dams to turn squares into ponds, or parking garages into cisterns, in dialogue with the inhabitants.

More information and registration form to follow.

 

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