Leading water management author and researcher supports the BEGIN Project

Sheffield University lecturer and water management researcher and author, Dr. Liz Sharp has affirmed her support of the Interreg North Sea project, Blue Green Infrastructures through Social Innovation (BEGIN).

What does BEGIN do?

BEGIN is a Climate Adaptation project, aimed at improving city’s livability and resilience, through social innovation

BEGIN is a Climate Adaptation project, aimed at responding to city’s ever-growing susceptibility to flooding, poor air quality and extreme weather. The project Cities are installing Blue-green infrastructure, such as green corridors, permeable paving, bio-swales and rainwater harvesting, in order to better adapt to this situation and improve the livability of cities in the North Sea Region.

Through social innovation, the BEGIN project has connected citizens to the pilots by inviting them to co-create, co-design and share in the responsibilities and benefits of the new blue-green installations.

The project has employed City-To-City learning to run pilots in cities from six European countries within the North Sea Region, including Rotterdam, Antwerp, Hamburg, Gothenburg, Kent, Aberdeen and Bergen.

BEGIN reconnects citizens with Urban Water

Dr. Sharp’s involvement in the project not only brings her expertise, but also adds significant research value. She believes that the real value of the project is the use of social innovation and co-creation to develop the pilots.

In her book, Reconnecting People with Water, Dr. Sharp explores the changing ways that organisations and people interact in the governance of water in cities, such as canals, rivers, reservoirs and aqueducts.  The book’s core argument is that the national and local governments can work with water users (residents, river-side dog-walkers, water sports fans) to co-design and co-manage more sustainable water systems.

“One of the exciting things about the BEGIN project”, says Dr. Sharp, “is that it involves cities trying to reconnect people with water across Europe.  In BEGIN, unlike in lots of development processes, water is recognised as both a challenge and an opportunity.  We have to manage water well to keep our cities functioning, but if we embrace the opportunities it offers it can also add beauty and nature to our daily lives.”

BEGIN is an Interreg North Sea funded project that brings together 10 cities, across 6 nations and 18 partners including research institutes and scientific.

Bax & Company co-initiated and coordinates the project, providing support for trans-national collaboration and shared vision.

Reconnecting People with seeks to provide scientists, engineers and practical water managers with some understandings of social and governance contexts that need to be considered in a shift towards more engaged water governance.  Equally, it aims to provide students of social science, communications and community practitioners with some understanding of water management as a bedrock for new water-related engagements.

Readers of Bax & Company Insights can receive a 20% discount from Reconnecting People with Water by quoting the code FLR40  and purchasing through the publishers’ web site www.routledge.com/9780415728454

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