Climate change and flooding

For some, climate change might feel like a matter of hotter summers, longer winters and higher energy bills. For others — especially those living in frontline communities — the impact of our warming planet has been much more severe. All around the world, rising pollution, shifting weather patterns, floods and droughts also affect people differently depending on intersections like gender, race and class. Building a better, more equitable future means designing solutions that are mindful of these complexities and that are rooted in local urgencies and opportunities. 

In our latest digital zine for the Redesign Everything Challenge, we’re taking a closer look at what this might look like in practice. Visit the Challenge platform to read up on the whole issue, which includes tips and insights on creative ways to reframe the problem and reconnect people around the issues that matter. Below, you can also find our pick of projects that are already helping communities engage with the climate and adapt to its impacts.  


Amsterdam Rainproof | Spaces | The Netherlands

One of the known effects of climate change has been more frequent extreme weather events which include an increase in severe rainfall. In the Netherlands, the number of days with heavy rainfall has increased by 68% since 1951. Amsterdam Rainproof is an initiative that connects citizens, city builders, officials, entrepreneurs and housing corporations through various activities that focus on making the city more resilient to extreme downpours. By creating a platform for exchanging ideas and strategies, they encourage the exploration and adoption of rainproofing solutions like water-permeable paving, green roofs and façade gardens. Not only do these solutions serve to prevent damage, they also give a wide range of stakeholders a say in how the city could operate in a rain-heavy future.

Amsterdam Rainproof

Photo: Amsterdam Rainproof.


Articles of Protection | Materials | Mexico

Taina Campos is a Mexican designer whose work prioritises local communities, materials, resources and techniques. In 2022, she developed a new kind of packaging material using the leftover husks of native Mexican corn — one of the most regenerative yet endangered plant species in the country. Called Articles of Protection, the project was conceived as a way to support rural Indigenous communities in Milpa Alta and was carried out in collaboration with Mujeres de la Tierra, a social organisation supporting women who have experienced domestic violence. Through their work together, they hope to reduce waste while also stressing the importance of preserving ancestral corn seeds and reconnecting people to traditional food systems. 

Taina is also one of the selection committee members for the Redesign Everything Challenge.

Articles of Protection

Photo: Almendra Isabel.


The Good Ocean | Products | India 

Did you know that the Indian coastline is home to more than 800 Indigenous species of seaweed? Nearly all of them are edible and contain cosmetic properties that are sought-after in industries like health and beauty. At the same time, studies show that encouraging the growth of seaweed can help absorb atmospheric carbon and reduce ocean acidification. These factors are what led to the creation of The Good Ocean: India’s first seaweed food company. Since 2020, they’ve been harvesting seaweed from the coast of Goa and processing it for restaurants, breweries, beauty companies and individual customers. Their main goal is to bring the benefits generated from this valuable product back to the fishing communities along the coast, by training them in ethical and regenerative harvesting techniques. They also host community harvests to help people engage with the oceans and its endangered ecosystems.

The Good Ocean

Photo: Rebecca D’Costa.


Solar Freeze | Systems & Services | Kenya

In many developing countries, 45% of all food is spoiled mainly due to a lack of cold storage. In Kenya, this loss usually happens before most fruits and vegetables even reach the consumer. Solar Freeze is an agritech company that offers a solution by providing portable cold storage facilities for small-scale farmers. As its name suggests, Solar Freeze’s units are designed to run on solar energy and cost as little as $0.1 per day to power. This off-grid solution allows farmers to extend the shelf-life of their perishable produce from an average of two days to more than a month. The whole system is built on the principles of a sharing economy, one that allows rural farmers to rent units from each other, and that provides real-time updates through its mobile app and online platform.

Solar Freeze

Photo: Solar Freeze.

Stories from the edge

Chicoco Radio | Communications | Nigeria

Chicoco Radio is a floating radio station built by the people of Port Harcourt’s waterfront slums. Nearly 84% of the adult population of this coastal region are radio listeners, however, the voices, priorities and perspectives of those who are most vulnerable are often under-represented in mainstream media. Chicoco Radio shares with local residents the technology, skills and confidence to actively participate in researching and creating programmes that address the issues that matter most to them: from poor governance and rampant corruption, to rising sea levels and plastic pollution. Chicoco Radio is also a part of NLÉ’s African Water Cities project, which investigates the intersection of rapid urbanisation and climate change in the continent’s waterfront communities.

Chicoco Radio

Chicoco Radio volunteers in action. Photo: Chicoco Radio.

Top image: Pixabay.


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