February 7, 2015

Participants convened for questions from the audience and debate on the day’s themes. Key concepts from the previous talks highlighted similarities across the varied regions:

  • There is widespread need for better management — not necessarily more building or significant increase in funding — of our existing water infrastructure to ensure a continued adequate supply of clean water and improve the efficiency of its delivery.
  • Most citizens have little or no understanding of where their water comes from. We need to develop ecological literacy through environmental education and opportunities for people to reconnect to their watershed, bridging the spaces of production and consumption.
  • Water supply infrastructure can be coupled with urban revitalization and community health, particularly the development of green infrastructure that provides new open spaces with educational and recreational opportunities.
  • Tackling the major questions of climate change mitigation as it relates to water requires interdisciplinary work between policymakers, designers, social scientists, and beyond.

The event closed with a 30-second response from each of the eleven panelists on their greatest wish for improving the current state of our water supply.

The Five Thousand Pound Life: Water, a symposium on issues of water supply in the context of climate change, examined case studies on Los Angeles, the Great Lakes region, and New York City. The event was organized by The Architectural League and The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design in February 2015.

The Five Thousand Pound Life (5KL) is an initiative of The Architectural League on new ways of thinking, talking, and acting on architecture, climate change, and our economic future.