Editorial Issue 1/2022

Valuing Water, Culture and Heritage






The Blue Papers journal provides a platform for the growing network, with the first issues launched in time for the UN 2023 Water Conference in New York, 22–24 March 2023, which coincides with the Midterm Review of the UN Water Action Decade. A growing number of people have come to realize that valuing water needs to go beyond technological, political and economic changes. The conference provides the background for a broad exploration of the role that culture, heritage and social practices play in current water challenges, and those they can play to support future inclusive and sustainable development. This requires an advanced engagement with the social, cultural and intrinsic value of water, by creating a new embedded water awareness 2.0.

How to Cite

Hein, C., D’Agostino, M., Donkor, C., Lin, Q., Sennema, H., & Sliwinska, Z. (2022). Editorial Issue 1/2022: Valuing Water, Culture and Heritage. Blue Papers, 1(1), 6–9. https://doi.org/10.58981/bluepapers.2022.1.ed



Author Biographies

Carola Hein, Delft University of Technology

Professor History of Architecture and Urban Planning at Delft University of Technology, Professor at Leiden and Erasmus University and UNESCO Chair Water, Ports and Historic Cities. She has published widely in the field of architectural, urban and planning history and has tied historical analysis to contemporary development. Among other major grants, she received a Guggenheim and an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship. Her recent books include: Oil Spaces (2021), Urbanisation of the Sea (2020), Adaptive Strategies for Water Heritage (2020), The Routledge Planning History Handbook (2018), Port Cities: Dynamic Landscapes and Global Networks (2011).

Matteo D’Agostino, Delft University of Technology

Researcher at Delft University of Technology, a member of the PortCityFutures research group, and currently affiliated with the UNESCO Chair for Water, Ports and Historic Cities. Matteo is a cultural anthropologist experienced in the analysis of perceptions and relational dynamics between public and private actors. His research focuses on understanding multiple structural, spatial and socio-economic factors as the basis for spatial planning and social interventions. Other interests include policy implementation for granting access to basic resources, such as water, and strategic reinterpretation of heritage by institutional and activist organizations.

Carlien Donkor, Delft University of Technology

Researcher at Delft University of Technology. She is also affiliated with the LDE PortCityFutures research group and the UNESCO Chair for Water, Ports and Historic cities. Carlien is trained as an architect with experience in design, construction, procurement and project management. Her master’s thesis focused on the subject of integrated urban water design and how factors not only limited to climate change and urbanism pose a risk to the design and planning of historical water cities like Milan. Other interests include volunteer work.

Queenie Lin, Delft University of Technology

PhD Candidate at History of Architecture and Urban Planning, Delft University of Technology, with a research focus on the sustainable preservation of climate-challenged Dutch overseas settlements in VOC Asia. She is currently working under the UNESCO Chair Water, Ports and Historic Cities and the PortCityFutures research group. She was also a PhD candidate of Cultural Heritage and Arts Innovation Studies, Taipei National University of the Arts, and that and her previous MA training in art and architectural history (University of Virginia, USA), conservation of fine art (Northumbria University, UK), and underwater cultural heritage certificate (UNESCO Foundation Course), equipped her for the professional experience in academia, museums, research institutes and thinktanks in Asia, America and Europe.

Hilde Sennema, Delft University of Technology

 is a historian with a master’s degree in architectural history. After working in the field of urban planning and heritage, she is now finishing her PhD on post-war reconstruction in port cities at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Between 2018 and 2021 she wrote a weekly column in the Dutch newspaper Financieele Dagblad. In 2022 she joined the UNESCO Chair of Water, Ports and Historic Cities at Delft University of Technology to work as a researcher and lecturer. Besides port cities, her research interests include public-private relations in public space, and the cultural meanings and representations of water.

Zuzanna Sliwinska, Delft University of Technology

Msc Architecture student, and currently an editor at independent periodical of the Architecture Faculty (Bnieuws) at Delft University of Technology. Zuzanna has professional experience in large-scale urban projects focused on sustainable manufacturing and food production. Her research interests focus on countryside conservation in fast-developing Asian countries with a focus on southern China. Her current master’s thesis explores the potential of adaptation and persistence of cultural heritage among rural communities through the perspective of water-related practices in Northwest New Territories, Hong Kong.