Virtual Living Lab: Redesigning the Liesbeek River in Cape Town

Bridging the Virtual Waters: turn a canal back into a river

Are you interested in international water resource management? Keen on travelling to other countries to learn about their water situation, but stuck due to the pandemic spread of the coronavirus?

Are you enrolled in a BA or MA related to water management or simply interested in water?

And would you like to know how you can turn back a canal into a river?

Then you are the one we are looking for!

Finding solutions for the challenges of the Liesbeek River in Cape Town, South Africa, is the focus of the short digital living lab ‘Bridging the Virtual Waters’.

This will take place Thursday 24 September, 8 October, and 5 November 2020, 15.30-17.30h CET.

During three online sessions, students and teachers from the Netherlands and South Africa will meet and share knowledge and skills to find solutions for a canal that once followed the natural course of a river. From several perspectives this case will be virtually discussed, and you are invited to contribute to this!

Each time we will start with an inspiring plenary session and after that you will work in intercultural groups on the challenges of the Liesbeek River. The groups will be a mix of students and teachers from the two countries and different study programmes.

To be able to fully participate, some prior knowledge on water issues is useful.

For each session we assign a bit of homework. We also expect you to stay in touch with your group and to continue the research in between the online meetings.

When you have participated actively in all three sessions, you will receive a certificate of participation.

We look forward to meeting you digitally!


Deadline for registration: 21 September 2020. Click here to register:

Hourly Schedule

Wednesday 23 September

15:30 - 17:30
Welcome and introduction Goal of the short course Bridging the Virtual Waters by Mariska Heijs, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences Short presentations: participants living lab Cape Town Key speaker: Dr. Kevin Winter, University of Cape Town: Challenges of the Liesbeek River – turning a canal into a river Groupwork: intercultural exchange where students and teachers from the Netherlands and South Africa will get to know each other and work together to find solutions for the case of the Liesbeek River. Each group will be assigned a separate challenge, such as plastic pollution, unpredictable flow, ‘room for the river’, desalinization. Wrap-up: short pitch of the results of the groupwork

Day 2

Day 3


Sep 23 2020 - Nov 12 2020


3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Sep 23 2020 - Nov 12 2020
  • Time: 11:30 am - 1:30 pm