Energetic first round of Water as Leverage design workshops in Chennai, Khulna and Semarang

*Only a few months ago, over 35 proposals focusing on Resilient Cities in Asia were received for the first edition of Water as Leverage of which 6 proposals were selected. The programme kicked off in Semarang (3-4 September), Chennai (6-7 September) and in Khulna (10-11 October), with the first local design workshops. This gathering of selected teams, community members, government representatives and other stakeholders demonstrated the potential for climate action and impactful collaboration in the coming months. *

In Semarang, the two design teams, consisting of local and international experts, worked on the urban and water-related challenges through community presentations, discussions with local government and exchanges between team members and experts. The Chennai workshop was characterised by a relevant mix of in-depth team discussions with high-level government officials and personal stories told by community representatives about the challenges they face on a daily basis.

In Khulna, the two teams already had been working on their research for more than a month, so the focus of the workshop was to take their first findings a step further in small groups with all relevant stakeholders. And similar to the other workshops, it was all about working together and informing the different stakeholders on the innovative and transformative character of the Water as Leverage programme.

Workshops The aim of these workshops - with a mix of working sessions, presentations, knowledge sharing and networking - is to build understanding of the needs and challenges, clearer insight on vulnerabilities, threats and interdependencies, validate findings from existing and executed research, unravel opportunities for intervention and to develop based on this ‘research by deliberation’ the necessary next steps towards conceptual designs for the urban water and climate challenges faced by the communities in the three cities.

*Conceptual designs * In the coming weeks, the teams will continue to interact with the local stakeholders and deepen their research and collecting of sources to further shape their conceptual designs. The results will be presented, discussed, verified and clarified during the next local design workshops in the three cities (Chennai 26 and 27 November; Semarang 29 and 30 November; Khulna 3 and 4 December).

During all workshops, tweets have been sent from @waterasleverage and by using #waterasleverage. The workshops are organised in close cooperation with our partners UN-Habitat, Partners for Resilience, 100 Resilient Cities and of course the three cities of Chennai, Khulna and Semarang. For more info, please visit Water as Leverage on the Netherlands Enterprise Agency website. Follow us on Twitter: @waterasleverage #waterasleverage.