Wednesday, June 29, 2022
WHY: Cities are struggling with the challenges of unsustainable urbanization, degradation of urban ecosystems, lack of resilience to climate change and non-inclusive urban planning. In the pursuit for economic development cities have exploited rivers indiscriminately. Today many of our rivers are extensively becoming the dumping grounds for waste and wastewater discharge and are in a highly vulnerable condition. Fortunately, there is an increasing understanding that ecological restoration and rivers are often referred to as the arteries of life of entire regions and of their populations. Therefore Urban Rives become central elements of sustainable urban transformation. WHAT: This networking event seeks to promote urban transformation towards more inclusive, liveable, prosperous and climate-friendly cities through establishing a new community of knowledge and practice on People Centred and Resilient Spaces related to Urban Rivers (PEARLS). The central assumption of PEARLS is that social sustainability and environmental sustainability are closely intertwined, and hence, the success in urban transformation will depend on social resilience for which urban public space plays a crucial role in promoting both collective and individual resilience. HOW: The event will include speakers from three global regions (Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America) representing various stakeholder groups (University, CSO, INGO, Private Sector). It includes four key-note presentations, a discussion and a short networking session in small groups. WHO The project is carried by eight main international partners and additional associated partners from civil society, policy and practice. It seeks to offer trans-disciplinary and international exposures to learn, innovate and open up mind sets of all parties involved.
PEARLS is guided by five main objectives: (1) To champion the progression of new urban practitioners through international exposures and the development of new innovative methods (e.g. blending Nature-Based with Socially-Based Solutions). (2) To achieve societal impact by contributing to the improvement of global policy and people-centred local solutions. (3) To build bottom-linked international networks and promote a new Community of Knowledge and Practice on People Centred and Resilient Spaces related to Urban Rivers. (4) To support innovative learning processes through active and experiential learning practices, case-study-based pedagogy and trans-disciplinary cooperation. (5) To delineate next steps and to identity key issues to be taken forward in follow-up activities (workshops, UTCs, joint projects etc.)