Water Resilient Cities


There is no arguing the state of devastation the world has been plunged into in the past decade. Tsunamis in Thailand, Japan and Australia only begin to explore the absolute devastation that has beheld the world. In light of our changing weather patterns, be it climate change or otherwise, architects, construction companies and governments are coming together in order to revolutionise planning and design.

This new movement is called resilient planning. The brief is to create weather resilient cities.

For ResilientCity.org the answer is in planning. The network connects like-minded architects and planners in their efforts to plan and create environments and cities that are resilient to climate change issues. It is the most innovative and modern construction movement that is leading the way for sustainable design. It is no longer about protecting the environment. This is the essence of modern conscious design.

It is impossible to not cite ARUP as one of the world’s leaders in sustainability and innovative design. More than that, they are proving to be leaders in the move to water resilient cities. In their brief “Urban Life – Water Resilience for Cities” the company states that these kinds of projects can be achieved by “increasing raw water capacity, combating salination implementing demand management and improving river basin management.

While this is a worldwide concept, Australia is a front-runner in its positive action. In an Arup case study, the Murray-Darling Basin is profiled as an initiative that Australia is undertaking in order to promote resilience planning.

This area that covers a large area of southeastern Australia is the most significant in terms of agriculture. The area mass from south Queensland down to Victoria and west to incorporate a small section of south Australia. The Murray-Darling Basin Plan is a $12 billion government funded initiative that is endeavoring to protect this area and promote environmental flow. This kind of sustainable initiative that involves the use of land planning and growth production in the area is creating a safeguard against further water issues.

This type of resilience planning is also being seen in Tokyo. Although hit by a tsunami after a catastrophic earthquake some weeks ago, the city was left in an incredibly stable state given the circumstances. Analysts are arguing this is because of their incredible city planning. The modern buildings themselves are constructed under the strictest of building codes that have inbuilt spring like mechanisms that allow them to sway in the event of the ever common earthquakes.

Their water resilience planning comes in the form of three different underground flood-protecting measures. The first is Metropolitan Area Outer Floodway. Using five different underground shafts, they system diverts excess water to the Edo River. The second is the Kanda River Diversion Channel. Again this area is maintained in order to hold excess water from the Kanda River. Finally in place for water resilience measures is the Meguro River Underground Reservoir. As its titles suggest, this is an underground water storage unit that is filled by excess water from the Meguro River.

It is partially through these feats of city planning that Tokyo has been able to withstand the natural disasters it has faced.

Whether the world is facing climate change has been argues relentlessly. It is however impossible to argue that in recent years it has been faced with some catastrophic and devastating natural disasters. Instead of consistently traditionally rebuilding, construction and design teams are moving forward by promoting resilience as a basis of their work.

This forward thinking is not only revolutionising traditional city planning, it is working with the present environments to create a safer future.

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