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Global Cities Need Natural Defenses

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mejiac
mejiac  
6/23/2013 12:33:07 PM
User Rank Village Voice
Re: linked funding
@Adam,

Excellent article, and I trully to agree that urban development in all aspect should integrate both its natural surround as well as implement solutions based on natural infrastructure.

 

We must take steps to protect critical ecosystems and incorporate "natural defenses" into urban areas to reduce risk and vulnerability.

Countries in the Caribbean are various times spared most of the damage caused by Hurricanes mainly because of the abundance of mountains and natural drains, which is why for most of those countries, when a hurricane hits, it simply means a "day off".

 

 

stotheco
stotheco  
6/15/2013 2:39:47 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Sandy opened many eyes...
Amy, I truly hope things have changed for good. We don't need to see more areas devastated by storms and other natural disasters and calamities because of the absence of defenses to these happenings. People need to take action now, during the calm of the storm. It takes time and resources to set these up; when they are done on a whim, then that's when people fail.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
6/3/2013 5:58:40 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Sandy opened many eyes...
Amy, thanks for the link to the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance. I have questioned, since Sandy, our exuberance for developing along the waterfront. However, anyone I ask about this still insists that waterfront development is a good thing that should and will continue. But something's gotta give: We can't continue to develop on the water and ignore the fact that we need new defenses, natural and otherwise. Unfortunately, while I do agree that Sandy opened many eyes, I'm not sure it was enough of a wake-up call.

Amy Rogers Nazarov
Amy Rogers Nazarov  
5/30/2013 4:20:34 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Sandy opened many eyes...
Hello Adam: 

I enjoyed this piece. Are you familiar with the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance? The group's goals are getting a lot more attention in the wake of Sandy... a silver lining to such a dreadful natural disaster. 

Then again, even humans directly impacted by the flooding and destruction perpetrated by Sandy have short attention spans. How many storms will it take for folks to realize that real, substantial time, expertise and dollars are needed to address these threats? They are not emerging - they are here, and they are here to stay. I don't have a sense of how promises made and goals set in the aftermath of Katrina's massive destruction have withstood the test of time. 

Or, will "things be different this time"?

Davedgreat2000
Davedgreat2000  
5/30/2013 11:15:57 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
natural defenses
Great article. Wetlands are great for protection. However, if no wetlands were in the area before do we go ahead and build one? What effects will that have on the eco-system, the wildlife? Can we plant more trees outside of large cities to help reduce pollution, or damage caused from wind storms? What are the costs if creating wetlands or new forests? What challenges are there when it comes to these? Do we even want to do these types of things or do we have the will power to do these things?

Adam Freed
Adam Freed  
5/29/2013 7:16:23 PM
User Rank Blogger
Re: linked funding
Thanks for your comment. Finding building scale solutions (eg, freeboarding so the first floor is out of a flood zone, including operable windows in the event of power outages, or providing on-site stormwater management) are critical components of a comprehensive adaptation strategy. We need to be looking at strategies on the building, site, neighborhood, and citywide scale. Architects and urban designers have a critical role to play in finding workable (and attractive) solutions.

Adam Freed
Adam Freed  
5/29/2013 7:13:48 PM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Defences
While London and NYC both face flood risks (and similar heat and surface flood risks as well) - there is a key difference is the geographies of the cities. The Thames River is narrower and easier to "defend" using hard infrastructure (e.g., sea walls) than NYC's coastline, which faces the Altantic Ocean and has over 520 miles of coastline. 

Adam Freed
Adam Freed  
5/29/2013 3:25:59 PM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Keeping grey infrastructure in the pink
Absolutely - the challenge for many cities is how to maintain and retrofit legacy infrastructure (both natural and grey) to operate in climate conditions they weren't built for. 

CitySolver
CitySolver  
5/29/2013 3:03:18 PM
User Rank Blogger
linked funding
I think thats so important for rivers and coastal networks that funding is linked up, otherwise whats the point. Also I wonder wether in future cities the ground floor of city buildings will be built with weak points so that flood water can flow through them without damaging the whole building (a bit like a building on stilts but with the gorund floor occupied as normal and flood risk designed into the infrastructure. Just a thought. Good article.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
5/29/2013 1:01:38 PM
User Rank Staff
Keeping grey infrastructure in the pink
Thank you for a great first post, Adam. Once again we hear from you about the stormwater runoff issue. It seems to be so important to inform the public about the relatively simple ways that water can be saved and recycled.

At the same time, there is much to be said for preserving and maintaining the hard infrastructure that is already there.

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