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main photo What unites the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and the Arabian Gulf

What unites the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and the Arabian Gulf

What unites such diverse and geographically distant areas? The need to effectively manage water, a scarce commodity. The Smart Water, Smart (Collective) Creativity conference series ends its first phase by promoting a cross-cutting vision among some leading players in human progress: architecture, design, industry, technology, and tourism. The signing of an agreement between the Foundation and the Region of Murcia is an example of the synergies and collaborations needed to preserve the value of water.

Three seas show the fundamental role of water management in the world’s future with particular relevance. The Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and the Arabian Gulf are three maritime areas that include countries where solving water scarcity is one of the challenges that will define their future. These are regions in which the management of every drop of water is an imperative on which all economic activity and the quality of life of each of their inhabitants depend. They are geographic areas that swing between wetlands, desert, and aridity, and where droughts and violent weather phenomena are threatening the future due to climate change. These are three regions of the world where tourism, architecture, urban planning, and industry must be combined with precisely managed agriculture.

 

Collaborative creativity to face the future

Smart (Collective) Creativity has finalized the first series of three meetings: On October 14 in Mexico City, on February 2 in Cartagena (Spain), and on February 21 at the Dubai Expo 2020. The forum has been set up in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and the Arabian Gulf, bringing together leading players in architecture, design, industry, and tourism. Following the philosophy of the Smart Water platform, the meetings have fostered dialogue and the generation of ideas on water issues, encouraging creative participation in these key sectors for the immediate future of humanity threatened by overpopulation, climate change, and water scarcity.

Smart (Collective) Creativity has encouraged the exploration of creative strategies and mobilization channels through water in the sectors and activities that define sustainable architecture, urban planning, tourism, and industrial development. Experts discussed and exchanged ideas keeping in mind the best ways to raise public awareness and develop collaborative creativity to face the future. Each one of us counts to meet the urban and industrial challenges we face, so communication with civil society is essential to successfully advance towards achieving the SDGs.

 

Region of Murcia: all scenarios for sustainable growth

The Mediterranean areas are at the center of almost all challenges, especially those related to tourism and agriculture, sectors considered major water stressors and in which water is the common thread and leading indicator of sustainability.  

The second Smart Water, Smart (Collective) Creativity debate was held in Cartagena (Region of Murcia, Spain) as part of the 6th Foro Contract Mediterráneo organized by Contract Region of Murcia to develop a shared professional vision and explore sustainable business opportunities to weave common interests with the Caribbean and the Arabian Gulf.

The forum was attended by a panel of experts who proposed a collaborative and creative response from the business value chain of the Region of Murcia to the ongoing challenge of water and the social impact of tourist destinations. Participants included Carlos Garriga, director of the We Are Water Foundation; Alejandra Pérez, from Hilton Grand Vacations; Suzana Gomercic, from Diamond Resorts; Paco Lago, from Interioriza; Pedro Arcas, from ECUS; Enrique Mínguez, from QZ Urban Furniture; Ramón Garayar, from GAT Gestión; and Jorge Bressel, from OBMI. The experts analyzed the importance of projects that generate trends in water and energy savings and whose influence transcends architecture to develop consumption habits in line with more current and environmentally friendly needs.

 

Final debate of the series in Dubai

On February 21, in the Spanish pavilion of Expo 2020 Dubai, we completed the first series of Smart (Collective) Creativity debates in the heart of the Arabian Gulf. We highlighted the value of architecture and design as agents of transformation and change towards new consumption habits and ways of experimenting that are more respectful of the environment, particularly water.

The participants in the debate were Carlos Garriga, director of the We Are Water Foundation; Jorge Arditti from Arditti+RDT architects; Hilda Impey from Hilda Impey Studio, Tareq El Zayat from OBMI, Gina R from Tropiqa Studio; Manuel Herrera, from MUHER) and Antonio Vte. Salvador Sancho, from Suinta. David Cámara, Project Leader of the Smart Water initiative, moderated the debate.

 

Agreement with the Region of Murcia

Coinciding with the end of the series in Dubai, the We Are Water Foundation signed a Collaboration Agreement with the Instituto de Fomento de la Región de Murcia, through which the organization will seek the involvement and cooperation of the business community in more sustainable management of water and its impact on the entire value chain. Carlos Garriga, director of the Foundation, stated at the ceremony: The lack of water concerns and affects us all: the public and private sector, hotels, architects, regulatory bodies... We must face this enormous challenge as members of society. And it is also a unique opportunity for collaboration that will undoubtedly mark our future.

This partnership is an excellent example of the synergies and collaborations that the Smart Water platform seeks to optimize resources, generate new consumption and living habits that are more compatible with the environment, and, in particular, preserve the value of water. Water is an essential springboard for development in all sectors of human activity: water in agriculture, architecture, tourism, and technology; clean and affordable water for all; water as a benchmark and indicator of sustainability; water, in short, that will define progress towards practically all SDGs.