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Water is at the heart of sustaining life for both the human and natural worlds. It has also increasingly become the source of climate-related disasters and catastrophic conflict at all scales. While water might “understand” civilization well, perhaps it is we who don’t understand water. Water takes no sides; it is a thing of beauty, as well as a powerful force that is at once terrifying and humbling. In current cultural and political discourse, water is identified as a basic human right. While 71% of the earth’s surface is water, clean water is a finite resource.

The AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee (DfRR) has focused 2017’s “Everything Water” series on understanding the role that water plays in our civilization, and how our interactions with water can be driving forces for defining and redefining our communities, cities, and countries for generations to come. The series brought together experts from a wide spectrum of fields and perspectives, and ranged from the most technical discussions to cultural and spiritual concepts, political realities, and visionary solutions.

Our final event of 2017, “Everything Water 4.0: Five Years After Sandy,” concludes this series of events focusing on issues surrounding water resources and mitigation at local, regional, national, and global levels. A day-long symposium, this event will present a range of ideas, from broad urban responses and water-related disasters to risk and security, creative interventions, and imaginative solutions to future challenges. Our speakers and panelists are architects, planners, scientists, mayors, nonprofit directors, writers, artists, and ecological innovators.

The symposium will begin with a keynote address followed by three panels that look at practice, leadership, and innovative approaches. The day will conclude with a conversation-style panel where speakers will act as respondents, addressing water, climate impact, and future challenges. This panel will be composed of leading writers who are currently engaged in these subjects, and who are bringing these issues to the forefront of public discourse.


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