Urban Learning Lab 1

People do not activate their agency unless they feel an urgency themselves. Therefore the first phase started by first mapping all active stakeholders in the Alexandrian area, asking how they are personally affected by water at current. Researchers, artists, farmers, local business owners and community leaders came together to identify the most pressing and felt issues on water. Following a design thinking process, groups set out to gather information, data and ideas of what is currently present. 

With a research team in Leiden, the Netherlands adding data and checking facts, sessions in Alexandria and Leiden followed and built on each other. 

Aim of this lab was to enhance the capability of Alexandria’s inhabitants of thinking about innovative solutions in water management to protect their city, through involving community leaders, scientists, local expertise and the creative industry in activities around the water management. 

The main conclusions of the most felt problems regarding water issues currently are: 

Water quality – water quality, sewage water/filtration

Due to lack of quality filtration, existing fresh water is often of poor quality. There is a lack of filtration of grey or brown water which could increase the use of water for multiple purposes. 

The question that was asked was: 

How could citizens/society take up a more proactive role in ensuring sufficient fresh water in future?

Soil Salinisation – sea water entering the soil

Climate change induced sea level rise is first and foremost felt through increase soil salinisation. Farmers already cannot grow many crops in the Delta area due to too salty water, especially for export, where water sample requirements are more strict. 

The question that was asked was: 

What innovations are out there that could be useful for citizens/society to reduce waste?

Freshwater Management (including fresh water saving, waste reduction, and desalination) 

A lot of fresh water is wasted, irresponsibly used, due to lack of awareness of citizens and businesses, faulty construction due to age or design, leaking to leaking pipelines. 

The question that was asked was:

What are practical strategies to deal with or adjust to soil salinity? 

In short, what is needed for a flourishing bottom-up water solutions is: 

    1. Ground Salinization – looking for bottom-up strategies to adapt to or reduce soil salinity. 
    2. Water Saving – local solutions for reducing water waste and leakage, focussing on closing the water cycle. 
    3. Water Cleaning – affordable, adaptable and portable filtration mechanisms to reduce water pollution.
December 26, 2019 7:48 am