Water Driven

Revolutionary Cultural Landscapes


Ken Nicolson

ISBN : 978-988-8528-41-7

Architecture, Urban Planning, Environmental Studies

March 2020

168 pages, 6″ x 9″, 60 b/w illus. and 1 table

  • HK$380.00

Water Driven presents stirring tales from around the world recounting humankind’s endeavours to solve water crises. Our creative solutions in the face of adversity have driven agricultural, industrial, and technological revolutions, creating some of the most iconic cultural landscapes, ranging from rice paddies to reservoirs and from wells to windmills. Today, rapidly growing urban populations are competing for a shrinking share of a finite water supply. The number of cities on the brink of running dry or, like Hong Kong, surviving from day to day by importing the bulk of their water, is alarming. The pressure is on to pursue a new, environmental revolution that will inspire the next generation of more sustainable, water-driven cultural landscapes.

Ken Nicolson has worked in Hong Kong since 1984. His background is in town planning, landscape architecture, and heritage conservation. He is currently an adjunct associate professor at the University of Hong Kong and author of The Happy Valley: A History and Tour of the Hong Kong Cemetery and Landscapes Lost and Found: Appreciating Hong Kong’s Heritage Cultural Landscapes.

‘Nicolson’s subject of study is the need for humanity to use water wisely by avoiding over-exploitation and treating it sustainably to avert a major crisis around the world. The positive tone is refreshing as much of that type of literature paints a doomsday scenario.’ —René C. Davids, University of California, Berkeley

Water Driven presents a critical account of humankind’s relationship with water and its management. Nicolson stresses the need for using socio-technical solutions of scarce resources and for developing water management projects that work with nature, rather than ones which attempt to control it.’ —Kelly Shannon, KU Leuven, Belgium