Urban Thinkers Campus: Pernambuco discusses fair water distribution and climate change

Urban Thinkers Campus: Pernambuco discusses fair water distribution and climate change

The Urban Thinkers Campus that will be held from 29 to 30 November, in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil will revolve around the theme, “Waters: Pathways Towards Sustainability.” Organized and hosted by INCITI, a transdisciplinary group from the Federal University of Pernambuco, the conference will lead three tracks to engage dialogues: Dry City, Submerged City and Sustainable City. This UTC intends to plan, together with agents from different spheres of society, local actions aiming toward the sustainability of water, considering the different urban, social and water contexts of the state’s regions.

Situated in the Northeastern region of Brazil, Pernambuco is subject to several climatic conditions and suffers from very distinct water related issues. Coastal cities experience floods during the rainy season in winter and are currently at a grave risk of being submerged as a consequence of global warming. One the other hand, in the countryside the inhabitants suffer constant water shortages and deal with severe scarcity. Add to this scenario the worst drought the Northeastern region has faced in the past one hundred years. 

This UTC will last two days, during which participants will share experiences and information through urban thinkers sessions, urban labs, roundtables, partner groups and plenary sessions to develop a local plan of action. During the morning of the first day, the conferences will approach the Dry and Submerged Cities subjects. These meetings will provide an overview, which will lead the discussions of the partner groups and roundtables, to be held in the afternoon. There, participants will deepen the conversations established in the debate and shall begin presenting possible solutions. 

The second day will follow the same structure, but with two simultaneous sessions on sustainable cities, one focusing on social participation, another emphasizing the implementation of public politics. The afternoon on 30 November will be reserved for the participants to meet and present the compilation of the discussions, to gather and systematize all the contributions in a synthesis-document, and to translate the plural view of the participants. After all the initiatives, suggestions and commitments have been combined, there will be the moment of final approval of the action plan, in plenary.

In addition, Urban Labs will enable the presentation and experimentation of three solutions that, in different ways, relate to the quality of water and the health of those who depend on this vital liquid. The AeTrapp workshop will mark the Brazilian launch of Aedes Aegypti, a monitoring app for citizens. By means of a simple trap, made with a pet bottle, anyone can help to monitor the incidence of mosquitoes in their city. The Aguapé workshop will also be held, aiming to develop a prototype for the treatment of river waters by means of Eichornia crassipes, a native Brazilian species known for its efficiency in the treatment of urban effluents. The third laboratory will be the presentation of an experiment developed in India, which reduces river pollution through the use of enzymes resulting from a simple fermentation of fruits, sugar and water. 


Article by Maira Brandao
Photo Credits: Humberto Reis (CC), Rafa Medeiros (CC), Juana Carvalho (CC)