The Fluvial Metropolis initiative was created as a joint University of Sao Paulo (USP) / Princeton University Strategic Partnership for teaching and Research, to conduct a research program on the future of water infrastructure and its potential effects on the urban space and form. The initial object of study was a recent project in Sao Paulo that proposed a far-reaching intervention in South America’s largest metropolis, the Hidroanel, a 170-kilometer-long Waterway Ring that sought to radically re-organize the city’s growth. The research network includes scholars from various disciplines at Princeton and USP, who reflect on the project’s potentials and precedents, including the nineteenth-century canal systems in the United States. In the process, the initiative seeks to add historical and socio-cultural dimensions to the scientific, technological, and policy aspects raised by the Sao Paulo’s Waterway Ring project. Thus, the network intends to bridge the environmental sciences, the social sciences, architecture, the arts, and the humanities in innovative ways.