Note to Reader:
The wetter the better. From sponge cities in China to ‘berms with benefits’ in New Jersey and floating container classrooms in the slums of Dhaka, Sophie Knight looks at a range of projects that treat storm and rain water as a resource rather than a hazard. Her article first appeared on Guardian Cities in England’s Guardian Newspaper.
Guardian Cities is supported by the Rockefeller Foundation which is behind the 100 Resilient Cities initiative. “100RC” is dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century.
Why smart city infrastructure
is going green
“They call it ‘pave, pipe, and pump': the mentality that has dominated urban development for over a century,” wrote Sophie Knight.
“Along with the explosion of the motorcar in the early 20th century came paved surfaces. Rainwater – instead of being sucked up by plants, evaporating, or filtering through the ground back to rivers and lakes – was suddenly forced to slide over pavements and roads into drains, pipes and sewers.
“Their maximum capacities are based on scenarios such as 10-year storms. And once they clog, the water – with nowhere else to go – simply rises.
“The reality of climate change and more frequent and intense downpours has exposed the hubris of this approach.”
To Learn More:
Read the complete article by Sophie Knight for descriptions of projects in Chicago, China and the New York-New Jersey region. Download What Would an Entirely Flood-proof City Look Like?, published September 2017 by the Guardian newspaper.