Can nature prevent flooding?
Around the globe, cities are experiencing never before seen rainfall leading to catastrophic flooding events. 44% of all disaster events worldwide have been flood-related, and 700 million people live in places where the maximum daily rainfall has increased. Our cities are not just concrete jungles. Every blade of grass, every tree, pond, lake and lump of soil together form vital infrastructure. As cities face increasing threats from climate change – including heavy rainfall– they need to fully understand this natural infrastructure and how to enhance it. In this episode, Dr Michelle Dickinson speaks to Daniel Lambert, Executive Manager – Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions at Unitywater and Mark Fletcher, Arup’s Global Water Leader, to unpack this question and provide solutions for overcoming this challenge.
Creating blue-green space within developments helps treat the water, manage the flood risk for the region and helps deliver community outcomes. ”Daniel Lambert Executive Manager – Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions, Unitywater
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Learn more about the work discussed in this episode
Shanghai urban drainage masterplanning
To help deal with flood risk in Shanghai, and the need to upgrade its existing drainage system, we developed a plan that focused not only on drainage, but took a 'blue, green and grey' approach to support an integrated water cycle within the city.
Sponginess and why it matters
While cities have a natural “sponge” quality, this is a baseline absorbency that can be improved through interventions. Natural infrastructure is not only extremely effective in managing flood water, but also brings far wider benefits that can contribute positively to biodiversity and carbon reduction.
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