Bringing science and development together through original news and analysis

Build cities that work with nature not against it

Shares

If you are unable to listen to this audio, please update your browser or click here to download [5.7MB].

Water is one of our most pressing global risks,” says Henk Ovink, special envoy for international water affairs for the Netherlands. When floods or tsunamis strike coastal regions, the devastation can be immense, particularly in densely built, poorly constructed neighbourhoods in cities across the global South.
 
But crises like flooding shouldn’t mean death, destruction and displacement. By constructing buildings and infrastructure that work with nature not against it, cities and countries will be far more resilient, Ovink says.
 
Architects such as Yasmeen Lari in Pakistan, Shigeru Ban in Nepal and Alejandro Aravena in Chile have been working with local people to pioneer new ways of designing safe and disaster-resilient buildings. The idea of architects as “big heroes who will bring salvation to the world” is fast being replaced by architecture that involves and is shaped by the people who use it, Ovink says.
 
This interview was recorded this week at Creation from catastrophe: How architecture rebuilds communities, an exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London, United Kingdom. 

Republish
We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.