From Landmarks to Watermarks: Water Towers as Hidden Signs of Water through the Value Case of Ourinhos, Brazil


  • Rodrigo Lilla Manzione São Paulo State University




water tower, heritage, SDGs, values, watermarks


This contribution explores the case of Ourinhos, Brazil, through a value case approach. The findings are based on the author’s work in the professional education course “Water System Design: Learning from the Past for Resilient Water Futures,” offered by the UNESCO Chair Water, Ports and Historic Cities team based at TU Delft. Following the methodology of the course, the author identified water towers as key elements of transformation and developed the concept of watermarks. Following a brief investigation of history, heritage and context, the article examines the potential of water towers to act as watermarks for educational and professional institutions present in the region. Drawing on pop culture among the city’s young people, the article proposes making the Ourinhos Water Tower a recognizable watermark of the city, a place worth visiting and engaging with. The plan includes people from a variety of backgrounds, interests, ages and perceptions who can join forces to develop powerful solutions to valuing water.

How to Cite

Manzione, R. L. (2024). From Landmarks to Watermarks: Water Towers as Hidden Signs of Water through the Value Case of Ourinhos, Brazil. Blue Papers, 3(1).





methodologies and case studies

Author Biography

Rodrigo Lilla Manzione, São Paulo State University

Rodrigo Lilla Manzione is associate professor at the School of Sciences, Technology and Education (FCTE) of São Paulo State University (UNESP) in the city of Ourinhos, Brazil, lecturing and researching in the fields of water management, Hydroclimatology, GIS and remote sensing since 2007. He holds a PhD degree in remote sensing from the National Institute of Spatial Research (INPE), in São José do Campos, Brazil, with a period at Alterra Institute, Wageningen, The Netherlands. He has habilitation in Hydrogeography and Agrometeorology.


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