Dear Mismak, i really like your idea of "bringing light the underlying principle of change. " I can visualise it through many means; in combination with your image of the forest I wish you would be more specific in your intentions. There are these beautiful burials in a forest these days, (in German they are called Friedwald which means peaceful forest, specifically designated forests, in which you can choose a tree under which one can be buried) This is only the last stage, but I think it could be much more enganged as a space for reflection and connection to nature during life times. Also I have observed how many elderly automatically reingage with nature as they grow older, as the joy of butterflies , and the speed of nature seems to be more natural than the urban speed. There are particular plants that attract some fantastic elements like the butterfly tree which could support some more specific contributions that you can think of as design tools to make your idea more accessible to this project. Good luck and lots of energy for the next phase! Julia
Dear Milha, congratulations to you and your team for this exciting and truly courageous project initiative. I particulary like the idea of new markets, many times i imagined a beautiful restaurant on the banks of the rivers in Addis which will give the customer a feel for a local community . Seeing the produce grow and consumed in the same place is something not only inherent to our nature but will have a huge impact on our city and how we perceive our enviromnet. I imagine also an educational place for children that can learn about indigenous plants and food, all aspects which seem to have been neglected in the urban environment for too long. I guess the most difficult challenge is to choose the right site, meaning that anything above the place chosen has to be carefully investigated in terms of contamination, future industrial development planned by the city etc. It would need a very strong community approach involving not just the specific local community but all of them along the river, it might also need other incentives for those stakeholders like a common walkway along the waterfront or anything that might strengthen their commitment and involvment. I suggest to look more closely into the potentials of plants filtrating the water, there is many examples of indeginous plants, filtering individual substances beyond the hyacinths, like banana trees, so I would suggest you to widen your team with a permaculture specialist to introduce more natural systems for unoccupied river territories. I wish the Hopeful River Project to succeed and have many more successors to come. Be an inspiration for the next generation by involving the youth!