Eugen Tóth

Ashoka Fellow
Slovakia,
Fellow Since 2007

Citation

This profile was prepared when Eugen Tóth was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
Eugen had developed a way to overcome climate change within the city of Prešov while also changing peoples’ attitudes about the value of rainwater. His work is crucial because it does not focus on rainwater harvesting like others, but on holding water where it falls and then circulating it in the same area. In this way he treats rainwater not as a commodity but as a resource that can be owned by the public; a source of social cohesion and economic prosperity. Eugen’s approach relies on a model of local environmental management that recognizes the important interconnections between the environment and the city.
For Eugen to successfully change perceptions about rainwater as a resource there must be a political commitment to funding and permission to plan. He has invested in lobbying and communications with municipal representatives and has increased public awareness with educational activities and an information campaign. This enables him to separate his activities and apply various architectural, technical, and biotechnical approaches to meet his objectives, without limiting the freedoms of people living in urban areas. For Eugen, this means not only developing a new water management system, but circulating water so that it protects urban areas from external environmental influences.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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