In all activities carried out during this hard year, we have been faced with human suffering, but we have also found hope. Hope generated by the knowledge of being understood and helped; the one generated by the enthusiasm and generosity of the institutions we collaborate with. These have redoubled their efforts despite all difficulties and deserve our admiration and gratitude. We will continue to be there, collaborating to overcome them, because we share the conviction that solidarity is a never ending asset.
Architecture and the building and tourism industries are key elements for the attainment of the SDGs. They must be a fundamental part of the model that will lead us to attain them and their international influence in the generation of social awareness is decisive. The “Smart Water Smart Reaction” debate showed there are plenty of ideas and initiatives in Mexico, Peru and Spain. The pandemic has strengthened the connecting thread of water as source of inspiration to overcome the global challenge we face and to appreciate the opportunities that appear before us.
Smart Water extends its discussion forum to make the most of the opportunities offered by the profound change we are experiencing. Smart Reaction will help create a new model that will allow us to effectively attain sustainable development. Through water, a smart reaction is based on dialogue and cooperation to overcome the survival and justice challenge humanity is facing. The world that designs, creates and builds living spaces must evolve even more towards collective intelligence, which will face all problems and will include all those who experience them.
The termination of tourism activity due to the pandemic has driven many communities to extreme poverty and slowed down the rise of sustainable tourism. This is one of the keys to attain the SDGs in 2030 and a “green economy” model to face climate change. Amidst a severe crisis we must, more than ever, promote an activity that ethically distributes wealth towards people and the environment.
The health emergency poses new challenges to urban planning. The criteria of sustainability are broadened with those of health, and the concept of healthy city radically changes if extreme poverty is not taken into account. The awareness that individual health is synonymous with collective health is one of the lessons of Covid-19 that we should not miss.
The construction of buildings and cities cannot manage without water. The Smart Water initiative moves forward and expands towards the Smart Building industry: the Smart Water, Smart Building sessions. The We Are Water Foundation gathered leading experts from the world of architecture and design in Mexico City with the aim of presenting and sharing ideas to foster a debate that can be passed on to society as a whole.
Water shortages in many Venezuelan cities are worsened by power cuts and the deterioration of public services, especially affecting the poorest neighborhoods. Most of their inhabitants fight every day to obtain water outside the cities with the serious risks it entails. Others have been implementing a water survival strategy for decades. This is featured in the short film La camisa sucia (The stained shirt), finalist of the We Art Water Film Festival 3.
The unstoppable exponential growth of cities will turn us into an eminently urban species in a few decades. For life on Earth to be sustainable cities also need to be so, and this will not be possible without the smart technologies integrated in circular economy. Their implementation is a great challenge for poor economies, which are most overwhelmed by urban growth and are not able to supply water and sanitation. This needs to be an international responsibility because what happens in these cities will be decisive for life on Earth.
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