As a result of increased heat in the city, due to more frequent heat waves in summer and longer warmer periods with high temperatures, many citizens of Amsterdam flock to water spots to cool down. Citizens and tourists in Amsterdam love to swim, spend time on boats, and recreate near water. However, pretty soon the capacity of these places will reach its limits. And moreover, this increased use of water is one of the main threats to biodiversity of life in the water, and also affects biodiversity on land. It all has a bad effect on climate change in the end.

This is especially worrying because, according to Waternet (the public body responsible for the quality and maintenance of our local water), Amsterdam’s waters are the last ‘virgin soil’ left in the city. During the Water Is Life Lab, interdisciplinary experts and creatives came together to create a shared understanding and new perspectives on the urgent issues around water management in Amsterdam.  What stood out during this lab was the need and importance to broadly explore water and biodiversity in general in order to create a deep and shared understanding before diving into specific key issues. The role of water in human life was discussed profusely, because for once we could not take the availability of fresh, clean water in our lives and city for granted. This fundamental insight offered new perspectives.

Dive into the key issues and explore new perspectives on water and biodiversity in Amsterdam!



Lab Partner


Waternet is a water company unique for its coverage of the entire water cycle for Amsterdam and surroundings. Next to proving a safe, clean and sufficient supply of water for human consumption and natural areas they are responsible for keeping dykes up to standard and keeping canals clean.

About the Radical collaboration Labs

In a one-day event, 200+ interdisciplinary participants worked closely with our partners to develop new paths for future design interventions, that we can share across the world – challenging the pressing issues we face today.

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