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Blog: Where can I defrost an urban planner?

Last June we received the message that we were one of ten finalists in the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge. It started when our team “An Ecosystem’s Approach to City Water Management” proposed an idea to manage water in Mexico City as an ecosystem would do. Already realizing that only one innovation could not solve this complex problem, we thought of multiple small innovations that could work together to make an impact. In nature, one organism does not manage all the water in an ecosystem, so we searched for multiple water management strategies and categorized them.

This idea sparked the interest of the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge jury and made them wonder, is this team mad enough to pull this off? We believe so, and would like to invite you on our journey to implementing An Ecosystem’s Approach to City Water Management! Through this blog, we will share our progress and experiences as we participate in the Biomimicry Launchpad, the program to get our innovation ready to compete for the 2020 Ray of Hope Prize.

In a microbiology laboratory, we did not necessarily need a hydrologist

So, where are we? The Biomimicry Launchpad started this week and it already added some fuel to the flames. At this stage, we are starting to design our prototypes and are looking for suitable testing grounds. For now, we will conduct experiments on a small scale, because in the Netherlands it is hard to find giant slopes and mountains such as around Mexico City. The most interesting part of this journey is the exploration of other disciplines. When I worked in a microbiology laboratory, we did not necessarily need a hydrologist, product designer, and a social scientist. Back then I knew exactly where I could find certain bacteria strains, but unfortunately, there exists no freezer where you can defrost an urban planner or other professional if you need one for your project.

At the beginning of February, we will travel to Panama where we will meet all the other Biomimicry Launchpad participants. Funny enough, there is already a lot of communication between the teams and a community is starting to form. Where it felt like the Launchpad was going to be competitive at the beginning, it starts to feel more and more like cooperation and mutual empowerment is inevitable. Through this blog, we will keep you updated on our journey, share our challenges and hope to inspire more people to innovate and (re)connect with nature!

For more information and questions, you can contact us through ATLbiomimicry@gmail.com.