As extreme weather events intensify and exacerbate flooding in urban areas, multipurpose urban squares can be used to detain stormwater during peak flow in a developed catchment. In this sense the Enghaveparken public park in Copenhagen adapts to dry – wet conditions and is capable to store 24,000 cubic meters of water before discharging at a controlled rate to the surrounding stormwater infrastructure.
The key to reconcile ecology and urbanism is to address how the ‘urban’ and the ‘hydro’ interact. Yet, it is clear that there are countless obstacles to make tropical cities more livable. To begin, we must acknowledge that these cities will experience some of the most adverse impacts of climate change.
Projects that work to create a dynamic interface between built and natural buffers are needed worldwide, requiring a multi-disciplinary approach with many organizations involved as well as the political leadership and will to create more resilient cities, coastlines, and agricultural areas.
Streams draining urban heat islands tend to be hotter than rural and forested streams at baseflow because of warmer urban air and ground temperatures, paved surfaces, and decreased riparian canopy. Thermal regimes affect habitat quality and biogeochemical processes, and changes can be lethal if temperatures exceed upper tolerance limits of aquatic fauna.
In the evolving discussion between water management practices there are always two poles: the conventional engineering solutions and the emerging landscape infrastructure solutions. The conventional practices of stormwater conveyance are typically termed “end of pipe solutions” because they emphasize the need to transport large volumes of water away from flood prone areas as quickly as possible. This approach is nothing less than an afterthought of the development model that is in place. Managing water in this way perpetuates and exacerbate the existing issues that urban areas face. The question to pose here is: should we promote end of pipe solutions in places where ecological alternatives can be successfully implemented?
“Saving U.S. Water and Sewer Systems Would Be Costly? Such questions are becoming common across the nation as water and sewer systems break down. Today, a significant water line bursts on average every two minutes somewhere in the country, according to a New York Times analysis of Environmental Protection Agency data. In Washington alone there is a pipe break every day, on average, and intense rains overwhelm the city’s system, causing untreated sewage to flow into the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers.” New York Times Article| By CHARLES DUHIGG | Published: March 14, 2010
Water infrastructure is integrally connected not only with municipal governance but also with geo-political dominance. Heavy water infrastructures like dams, waterways and aqueducts, represent the most basic examples (fundamental building blocks) of today’s technological landscapes. The new tranformative scope begins by understanding that when urbanity began to control water it also began to destroy ecosystems. It is time for a new urban hydrological paradigm.