Cities were born from water. Whether marking the end of a navigable river, the opening to the sea, the edge of a sustaining lake, cities around the world have begun at the water’s edge. Waterways provided our first inter-city transportation, and waterfronts developed as the locus of industry, commerce, and culture. Fresh water nourishes us and our land. For the last few generations in the global north we have taken water for granted, rarely concerned about access to drinking water or catastrophic flooding because we engineered systems to control our waterways. Now climate is changing and its varied impacts — rising sea levels, changing salinity, acidification, drought – demand that we re-evaluate our relationship with water. With renewed awareness of the critical importance of freshwater to our health and the health of the planet, and the limits of large-scale engineering solutions, many cities are changing long-standing practices for water management. In short, we are redefining rain: it’s not waste; it’s a resource.
At the event there will be held a workshop and panel discussions on the challenges and best practices of rethinking water. Elected officials, advocates, designers, and planners will share their ideas and experiences in Washington, DC, Copenhagen, New York, and more.