International Summer School: Lima beyond the park II,
Sustainable concepts for a water-scarce future Desert City, Culture and Water Infrastructure
Punktzahl: 3 LP
Lima, a desert city - with limited water resources and over one million inhabitants without connection to drinking water systems. Lima, the second driest capital in the world - How do it's green spaces relate to the desert city´s water challenges? How can open spaces be designed to reduce water-consumption and be attractive, ecological and socially inclusive at the same time? These questions were tackled in a German-Peruvian summer school with 32 students from different countries and backgrounds. They developed two strategic, low-cost interventions for productive, water-sensitive and liveable open spaces within two public schools located on both sides of the Chillón River.
The aim of the summer school was to develop new solutions for the water-sensitive urban design (WSUD) of open spaces, addressing the issues of water scarcity and environmental degradation in Lima. Migration, population growth and lack of planning have led to a vast expansion of informal settlements in Lima within the last decades. These settlements lack many basic urban services such as water supply, waste disposal and wastewater infrastructure, which have caused environmental degradation. Over 1 million inhabitants of Lima do not have access to the public drinking water network. At the same time, parks and road greenery have a high water demand and are irrigated mainly with potable water. The increasing water demand of green areas and the high cost of drinking water put pressure on the wastewater infrastructure, which is informally misused for irrigation purposes with bad hygienic consequences. The summer school aimed to show, critically discuss and develop new ways to think about the relationship between Lima’s urban development challenges and the urban water cycle. The main aim of the summer school was to develop an understanding of the concept of „Water Sensitive Urban Design“ and to apply it to the context of the arid megacity of Metropolitan Lima and Callao. A holistic integration of the urban water cycle, urban landscape and the people can only be achieved through transdisciplinary cooperation between different disciplines. The students were working in mixed groups of Peruvian students and students from different European Universities with diffe¬rent professional backgrounds: architecture, landscape architecture, spatial planning, agricultural engineering, sanitary enginee¬ring, wastewater sanitation and social sciences.
The task of the summer school was to develop and implement low-cost, productive design solutions that are both functional and beau¬tiful, as well as contribute to a sustainable urban environment. Such solutions should limit wasteful consumption of drinking water and show new approaches to harvest or save water, reuse nutrients for fertilization or food production, use local or recycled materials. The aim was to develop two strategic inter¬ventions in the form of design prototypes to be tested in terms of their viability both with experts and the community. The stu¬dents were asked not to develop a master plan for the whole site, but rather to propose a minimal strategic intervention that could initiate a chain reaction of improvement. The final proposal had to posses the high¬est potential to be replicated in the future in public schools and other open spaces. During the summer school the students had to work mostly on site in order to communicate and work closely together with the local community. A participatory workshop was organized to establish a close connection between the students and the community. The students were encouraged to get familiar with the challenges of daily life and engage with the people’s needs and wishes as well as their skills and resources. It was essential to interact in order to find out which ideas hold the greatest potential for change and short-term implementation. Being involved in the development of the project should create an identification of the community with the results of the summer school, producing responsibilities and commitment for the further development and maintenance of the implemented project.
This video shows the students´ design and building process as well as their results. The summer school was funded by DAAD and was part of the pilot project of the application-oriented research project "Sustainable Water and Wastewater Management in Urban Growth Centres Coping with Climate Change - Concepts for Lima Metropolitana (Perú) - (LiWa)" funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research and was organized by the ILPÖ institute of the University of Stuttgart.