On what is the World Water Day, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, the Network for Water in European Regions and Cities (NETWERC H2O) and the members of the European-funded action named BLUESCITIES have announced the forthcoming publication of the Urban Water Atlas for Europe which will in the coming weeks be published both on the internet and as a book. This is not just another publication on the situation that the planet faces regarding water. In a unique action, Science and Art have combined to demonstrate that together they form a powerful alliance capable of breaking down international barriers and bringing people from different nations together in order to achieve a more sustainable global future.
In what is being hailed as an innovative example of Science Diplomacy, schoolchildren aged 6-11 from Turkey, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Romania, Hungary, Spain and the United Kingdom contributed their artistic perception of the World’s most important natural resource, water, in order to provide over 300 paintings illustrations many of which appear in the Atlas. Whilst national governments often find trans-frontier cooperation a complex and often frustrating challenge, the school children, brought together under the terms of the Dubrovnik Declaration of Intent signed in 2015, offered a joint and cohesive vision of the principal environmental challenge of the 21st Century.
The result is a stunning series of illustrations contained in a book that will appeal to experts and laymen, adults and children alike. The title page was drawn by Erol Dikmen, a student in the Güvercintepe Middle School in İstanbul, who accompanied by his family was presented with a commemorative plaque by representatives of Istanbul University at the school where he studies.
See the promotional video of the Urban Water Atlas for Europe: