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.
The coastal historic city of Boston is projected to have up to five or six feet of saltwater flooding by the year 2100. In response to this, the Boston Living with Water competition was launched. Planners and designers worldwide were invited to develop new concepts and strategies that could improve Boston’s resiliency and adaptability to these predicted environmental changes.
In a study published by the journal Science Advances, the researchers forecast that future drought risk in U.S. Southwest and Central Plains regions is likely to exceed even the driest conditions experienced during extensive Medieval-era periods that have been dubbed “megadroughts.”
Flooding is one of the most damaging natural hazards, affecting millions every year. There have been many notable flood events around the world in recent years, in countries such as Pakistan, Thailand, Australia, the USA, and in early 2014, parts of England experienced extensive floods. These events have caused widespread damage to infrastructure and buildings, as well as detrimental effects on human well-being.
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.
Engineers Australia hosted its 35th Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium on 24th – 27th February 2014 in Perth. The event, coordinated by Engineers Australia’s National Committee on Water Engineering, is Australia’s largest symposium devoted to hydrology, water engineering and related areas in water resources management.
The 700-hectare Panama watershed experiment, also known as Agua Salud, will run for 20 to 30 years, making it the largest ongoing study of land use in the tropics. “Our project aims to clearly quantify environmental services such as water flow, carbon storage and biodiversity conservation that decision makers will consider as they evaluate projects from forest restoration to watershed management,” said Jefferson Hall, Smithsonian staff scientist and project director.