Resilient Cities 2015

Resilient Cities 2015 Photo Contest winner and honorable mentions

Congratulations to Ms. Sayamon Saiyot, winner of the Resilient Cities 2015 Photo Contest! 

Sayamon is a student at the Yokohama National University, conducting research on how to enhance community resilience against flooding in Thailand. Sayamon’s photo has embodied our contest theme: “Testimonies of resilience: Snapshots capturing successful climate change adaptation actions in your city or community” in the most skillful and intuitive way.  Her photo entitled: “Daily Life” exhibits an everyday moment in the life of a traditional Thai community living with the reality of recurring floods. This picture was taken in September 2013 in Pathumthani province, Thailand. 

Although Thai communities are accustomed to the annual “flood season”, in 2011, the country experienced an unusual and extreme flood event, affecting more than 13million and claiming the lives of more than 800 people. Sixty-five of Thailand's seventy seven provinces were declared flood disaster zones, including Bangkok and several major cities in central Thailand. This severe flood crisis reinforced the opinions of local communities and their leaders to invest individually and collectively, financially and emotionally in climate change adaptation and resilience. 

The water trail demarcating the 2011 flood level is visible on most buildings in Thai communities and remains as a reminder for all of the disaster. This reality has been captured in Sayamon’s photo, where the water trail – several meters above the ground – is clearly visible on the buildings in the background. 

Daily Life: I am a farmer. I have a small water vegetables garden along this canal. I have a boat I typically use in the garden. Have you seen the water trail above the window? Yes, a boat saved my life during the mega flooding (in Thailand)

Thank you, Sayamon for sharing this photo with the Resilient Cities community. And thank you to all those who participated at the Photo Contest! We were pleased to receive a large number of diverse, original, high quality photographs, which we’ve enjoyed reviewing. 

Our honorable mentions go to:

Ms. Ely Nurhidayati, who conducted her research project on floating settlements in Tanjung Mekar village, located on the Sambas River in Indonesia in 2010.

In the floating settlement illustrated below, the community has shown their resilience to living in extremely vulnerable to flooding conditions. Their response to the imminent threat of flood was to adjust their homes and adapt their entire lives to living on the river, instead of under it.

Floating village in Indonesia: Adjusting Infrastructure to climate change effects

Mr. Ramiz Khan, Senior Project Officer at the ICLEI South Asia Secretariat, who submitted three relevant to our ICLEI agendas photos. The one below has been selected as a representative of climate change adaptation actions in the cities of Howrah and Kolkata, India.

Local climate resilience-building actions in South Asian cities