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Princeton's Fluvial Metropolis

Posted by Melinda Carson on

By far the greatest and most admirable form of wisdom is that needed to plan and beautify cities and human communities.



The Fluvial Metropolis initiative was created as a joint University of São Paulo (USP) and Princeton University’s Strategic Partnership for Teaching and Research, to conduct a research program on the future of water infrastructure and its potential effects on urban space and form. The initial object of study was a recent project in São Paulo that proposed a far-reaching intervention in South America’s largest metropolis, the Hidroanel, a 170-kilometer-long Waterway Ring that sought to radically re-organize the city’s growth. The research network includes scholars from various disciplines at Princeton and USP, who reflect on the project’s potentials and precedents, including the nineteenth-century canal systems in the United States. In the process, the initiative seeks to add historical and socio-cultural dimensions to the scientific, technological, and policy aspects raised by the São Paulo’s Waterway Ring project. Thus, the network intends to bridge the environmental sciences, the social sciences, architecture, the arts, and the humanities in innovative ways.


Water has always been the most crucial of resources; yet, until relatively recently, humankind has been callous about respecting and utilizing it. São Paolo’s Hidroanel urban planning project represents a radical, and vital, rethinking of the way we incorporate and harness our waterways in the planning of urban environments. Bridging environmental sciences, social sciences, architecture, the arts, and the humanities in innovative ways, through a comprehensive study by two of the world’s most respected academic entities, Fluvial Metropolis is a necessary exploration of new concepts of water infrastructure that respond to the emerging demands of twenty-first century urbanization in contrast to the technocratic management that characterized the twentieth century.


Boasting a complete glimpse into the initiative and its findings in toto, this beautifully designed and illustrated book features critical writings from architectural scholars Mario Gandelsonas and Alexandre Delijaicov, and is fully bilingual in English and Portuguese.


A major work investigating a critical issue in how we design our environments, and, ultimately, design the future of human living.


Stop worrying about missed opportunities and start looking for new ones.

-I.M. Pei


Browse Fluvial Metropolis by Mario Gandelsonas at and Alexandre Delijaicov at our online store