SPONgE CITY DEVELOPMENT | 18 JUNE 2019
Climate resilient strategies for water sensitive cities
Program 3rd Edition, Tuesday June 18th 2019, Beijing (China)
INBAR Pavilion, International Horticultural Exhibition 2019 Beijing
With over 70 participants representing 15 countries, the Floriade Dialogue’s third edition in Beijing was a successful continuation. This edition covered Sponge City case examples from Shanghai, Hebei Province, Zhuhai, Shenyang, and Shanghai, discussing the flood absorbing capacity of these fast growing cities. Water management has become a major integrated focus of intensive urbanization. Flash floods have crippled cities with increasing climate unpredictability and unrivaled financial consequences. Urban floods cost billions of dollars per year in damages, with potent degradation on social, environmental, and economic stability.
An unprecedented opportunity exists now to reconsider cities as circular urban landscapes, with water as the central element. Cities should be approached as catchment systems with the absorbance capacity provided by urban wetlands — sometimes accredited by Ramsar Convention — and greenspaces that provide environmental and agricultural benefits while storing valuable superfluous freshwater for groundwater recharge. Urbanization will be characterized by the implementation of blue-green measures that utilize the power of natural infrastructure to solve drainage and heat island problems; creating ‘Sponge Cities’. The expectations and objectives for this approach are high. China alone aims to have 80% of its urban areas able to absorb and re-use at least 70% of rainwater by 2020.
Dialogue and Discussion:
- Scaling up investments in water supply security and integrated urban water cycle
- Sustainable urban drainage and groundwater systems
- Urban design to minimize environmental degradation
- Sponge City aesthetics and recreational appeal
Because of land reclamation projects in the past, many wetland areas disappeared entirely. This has an impact on (ground)water levels in many areas of the world. In many cases, the areas with the highest amount of total food production and agricultural farmland also cope with the highest amount of water shortages. Meanwhile, flooding of inner city and residential areas occur often. These floods mainly happen during typhoon seasons with heavy rainfall.
An important conclusion: groundwater recharge is needed and has direct impact on food security of many different countries worldwide. A new focus on resiliency and urban development is underway with integrated urban design and servicing multiple solutions like: recreational space, preservation of industrial heritage, nature-built wetlands, green parks, and green roofs with new ecological connections, such as Chongming Island Dongtan Nature Reserve in Shanghai — a RAMSAR site.
Important conclusion of this Floriade Dialogue Edition: We should work together with people in the city to design parks, seafronts, beaches, and/or infrastructure to adapt to typhoon seasons and heavy rainfall. Some great examples were presented in which neighbourhood committees worked together in 3 day workshops, looking for reference projects, making sketches of their own residential areas, and working on their own water management and water protection plans in their neigbourhood .
Full Report and Conclusions
Read the Full Report and conclusions of Floriade Dialogue #3 here.
3) Presentations Floriade Dialogue #3
– Jan-Kees Goet, Secretary-General Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality
– Harry den Hartog, urban designer and researcher at Tongji University
– Pan Zeng Hui , Director of Water Resources Dept., Hebei Province Institute of Water Science, China
– Xiaocun Ruan, Key Expert Sustainable Urban Planning at EC-LINK project
You are more than welcome to contribute and participate in upcoming Floriade Dialogues. Please sign up so we can invite you.
Date: March 28-2019
URBAN VERTICAL GREEN
Date: April 4-2019
NATURE IN THE CITY
Date: October 2019