Hydrological communities in the city

POC Brusseau, Bruxelles- BE

Hydrological communities in the city

Faced with tensions in water management that often oppose citizens and city administrations (urbanisation neglecting hydrography; constructions in flood-prone areas; systematic waterproofing of surfaces and excessive densification in the city; lack of means and consideration for decentralised management practices; etc.), the project BRUSSEAU, financed within the framework of the call for projects ‘COCREATE’, launched by INNOVIRIS – Brussels’ Institute for Research and Innovation –  brings together citizens’ groups by the city’s watersheds and scientific researchers or technicians in a first stage, and public authorities in a second stage, in order to carry out research-action on collaborative water management in the city. 

Collectively building a common language of collaboration 

The types of action experimented by the project are: working diagnosis between stakeholders to understand together the studied perimeters’ hydrological potential; collaborative mapping to gather in one medium a synthesis of all the citizen and scientific or technical contributions; the history of hydrological configurations and old forgotten rivers; measurements made by the citizens of rainwater flows and levels, within the spirit of “citizen scientists”; etc.  The design tools used, such as collective mapping, facilitate the interaction between all the actors involved by enabling – or even forcing – them to get out of their respective scientific, administrative or activist bubbles and translate them into a common language of collaboration.

Watershed solidarity 

The project BRUSSEAU thus defines “hydrological communities” wherein a “watershed solidarity” is materialised between the inhabitants of upstream and downstream neighbourhoods. Together they think of the multiple devices, private or public, that allow infiltration, evaporation, water storage, etc. in order to reduce runoff that causes, among other things, flooding.

This group, caught in a “common demand” for diagnostic and propositional expertise, is confronted and put into dialogue with the institutional expertise.

  • Porteur de projet/Project holder : BRUSSEAU
  • Acteurs/Stakeholders : Cette recherche-action est financé dans le cadre de l’appel à projet COCREATE par INNOVIRIS, l’Institut Brussellois pour la Recherche et l’Innovation / This action-reseach is financed within the call for projects COCREATE from INNOVIRIS, the Brussels Institute for Research and Innovation
  • Crédit photo/Photo credit : Ananda Kohlbrenner – Brusseau