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The RAINS Project / Sabrina Faber

Sana'a, Yemen © eesti via flickr
Sana'a, Yemen © eesti via flickr

Sana’a, Yemen is at risk of being the first capital city in the World to run out of renewable, reliable and clean water supplies. With seasonal rain, expensive bottled water and polluted reservoirs, the residents of Sana’a are constantly faced with waterborne diseases and severe drought hazards. In celebration of World Water Day, we would like to catch you up with the progress Sabrina Faber who was selected as winner of the 2010/2011 Philips Livable Cities Award – a global initiative designed to generate innovative, meaningful and achievable ideas to improve the health and well-being of city-dwellers across the world. Although the project went on hold due to political unrest, The Rainwater Aggregations (RAINS) Project was still able to complete three sites just in time for World Water Day. Continue reading for more.

Philips Livable Cities Award Winners begin their projects

The winner and two runners-up of the Philips Livable Cities Award have started their projects. You can follow the progress of the recipients – from Yemen, Argentina and Uganda – as they document their process on their blog and video diary. The Philips Livable Cities Award is a “global initiative designed to generate innovative, meaningful and achievable ideas to improve the health and well-being of city-dwellers across the world”. The awardees received grants that will allow them to bring their ideas to life, improving the livability within their local communities.

Continue reading for videos and more information on the three award-winning projects.

Philips Livable Cities Award Finalists

The Philips Livable Cities Award has announced a shortlist of eight initiatives, narrowed down from 450 ideas received from 29 countries around the world. The eight simple solutions all share a common thread, a reasonable approach to improving the health and well-being of people living in cities. Shortlisted designs include a smart grid athletic light for city recreation in NY, design your own park competition, a shade stand in Kampala, and a moveable street park in Buenos Aires. Cast your vote for your favorite Philips Livable City by March 24th. Design Your Own Park Competition in Binghamton, USAIn many cities, neglected urban spaces are seen as unsightly and unusable areas of land. David Sloan Wilson’s shortlisted ‘Design Your Own Park Competition’ idea would turn these areas into a space Binghamton residents can use and be proud of.Shade Stand in Kampala, Uganda James Kityo’s idea involves creating 45 ‘Shade Stands’ across Uganda’s capital, Kampala, providing shelter against both the hot sun and torrential rain, and displaying post­ers about health education topics. Plaza Movil Street Park in Buenos AiresManuel Rapoport’s ‘Plaza Movil Street Park’ idea would see Buenos Aires’ streets tempo­rarily closed to traffic during weekends and public holidays, and portable playground equipment and benches used to convert them into recreational spaces.Smart Grid Athletic Light in New York City, USA Andrew Burdick’s ‘Smart Grid Athletic Light’ shortlisted idea involves modular solar or wind-powered streetlights connected to a ‘smart grid’, allowing children and sports teams to play later in the day in a well-lit and safer environment. Neighborhood Network Scheme in Abeokuta, NigeriaMichael Iyanro’s idea proposes the development of a ‘Neighborhood Network Scheme’ in Abeokuta, Nigeria, by providing access to a network of welfare services, designed to help elderly citizens live inde­pendently and more securely within their city.Rainwater Aggregation in Sana, Yemen In Sana’a, Yemen, water can quickly become scarce, posing a risk to vulnerable city residents. Sabrina Faber’s shortlisted idea of ‘Rainwater Aggregation’ addresses this problem by using existing flat rooftops to capture, filter and store water during rainy periods. iQare in Edinburgh, UKEve Hatton’s shortlisted idea, ‘iQare’, works by simplifying how elderly people in Edinburgh, UK, access the latest digital tools. Thus making it easier to remain independent, stay in touch with friends and family, and access service providers and retailers.Health Education Initiative for the Deaf in Embu, KenyaJacob Ireri has submitted an idea to address the significant challenges faced by deaf children in Embu, Kenya. His ‘Health Education Initiative for the Deaf’ aims to promote health-related information through the teaching of Kenyan Sign Language.