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Guest Thinkers

The Urban Water Dilemma

In the next two decades, nearly two-thirds of humanity will be living in cities. So how will urban centers across the world manage the increasing pressure being put on their water resources?

Making urban water distribution sustainable and using water to make cities greener were topics covered at a recent international conference in South Africa. “Numerous speakers highlighted the need for a shift away from ‘old models’ of water management and business-as-usual thinking. ‘I see a transition from people being consumers of water to people being custodians of water. We need to manage water as a flux instead of a stock,’ said Anthony Turton, director of TouchStone Resources, a natural-resource management company based in South Africa, at a World Bank panel on public-private partnerships.”

This essay describes a model for urban development that takes into account and makes use of the externalities that exist in the built environment. Buildings and the people that inhabitat them makes neighborhoods and vice versa the value of a building is in its locations. How can better frame this relationship between an object and its environment? How can develop strategies for a integral area development that learn from the best global examples?

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