Yemeni finalist for Philips Livable Cities Award

Yemeni resident's rainwater aggregation idea shortlisted

Sabrina Faber hails from Sana'a in Yemen.
Sabrina Faber hails from Sana'a in Yemen.

A Yemeni resident’s idea for using flat rooftops in Sana’a for rainwater aggregation has been selected as one of eight finalists for the Philips Livable Cities Award.

This is a global initiative designed to generate practical, achievable ideas for improving the health and well-being of city-dwellers across the world.

The winners will be revealed on 27 April 2011, and will be awarded three grants totalling €125,000 (€75,000 for the overall winner, with two additional winners receiving grants of €25,000 each).

In the category of healthy lifestyle at work and home, Sabrina Faber from Yemen was selected as one of the eight finalists for her practical and achievable idea of rainwater aggregation.

In the city of Sana’a, Yemen, rainfall is seasonal. Water can quickly become scarce, posing significant health risks to vulnerable city residents.

Faber’s shortlisted idea addresses this problem by using existing flat rooftops to capture, filter and store water during rainy periods.

This unique approach has the potential to solve the problem of water shortages during dry spells, resulting in significant health benefits for the whole population.

“The judging panel had a difficult task selecting the finalists from more than 450 ideas submitted from 29 countries around the world, given the high quality of entries received,” commented Richard Florida, professor, author and chair of the Philips Livable Cities Award expert panel.

“Having conducted a rigorous review, the panel is excited by the breadth of thinking displayed by the final eight, which demonstrated the innovation necessary to help ensure the future livability and prosperity of our cities.”

The eight finalists represent a truly global picture of the issues faced by city-dwellers across the world, from a proposed street park project in Argentina to the rainwater aggregation scheme in Yemen.

The other finalists include a health education initiative for deaf children in Kenya, a neighbourhood network scheme in Nigeria, shade stands in Uganda, a digital networking tool in the UK, and two schemes from the US, namely a smart grid athletic light and a design-your-own-park project.

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