Cool City is an interdisciplinary research project and workshop in Naples, Italy and Seoul, Republic of Korea. Its ambition is to develop and disseminate sustainable design by using perennial resources of underground water—currently unused, abandoned or mismanaged—to mitigate the impact of the heat-island effect found in the densest urban communities where temperatures can be up to seven degrees higher than in the surrounding areas.
Cool City investigates the potential of reclaiming and capitalising on existing (ancient) water systems and resources. It explores perspectives on the social, cultural and economic layout of the proposed sites for intervention in Naples and Seoul, and the socioeconomic challenges inherent in the creation of healthy public and private spaces, climate justice, etc. Cool City also investigates innovations in water use, incorporating hydraulic systems, air-conditioning systems, environmental engineering, biology, urban sociology, archaeology and geology in urban environments.
Within Future School, the Cool City Lab will facilitate debate and designs on the above issues and potentials, analysing the multiple nuances of climate care and new urban interventions. The programme will also promote a reconsideration of ancient systems, technologies and designs that use water for cooling purposes, such as qanats, underground aqueducts and cisterns, wind catching towers, yakhchal, salsabil and other traditional passive methods, combining them with new technologies and devices that might further the evolution of green and blue systems.