Posts Tagged "flooding"

The old way: build a wall. The new way: work with nature.

Posted by on Feb 27, 2013

A nice illustration of the difference between old and new approaches to resilient design: In flood-prone Holland, the old approach was just: build a wall. The new approach is: work with nature, not against it, where you can. For centuries dikes (and natural dunes where they exist) have provided the primary defense against the North Sea for low-lying areas in the Netherlands. And while the Dutch continue to maintain, extend and elevate their system of dikes, they are also “increasingly relying on techniques that mimic natural systems and harness nature’s power to hold back the...

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Making Los Angeles Resilient

Posted by on Jan 29, 2013

Lisa Novick has a very good blog on what Los Angeles should do to boost it’s resilience on the Huff Post Los Angeles. The blog includes a nice definition of resilience: “Resilience is defined as the capacity of a system to absorb shock and still maintain its identity and function. Resilient systems — business, social, ecological, you name it — all have redundancy so that, when a shock or increased stress occurs, there will be back up. There will be some elasticity: someone or something will be able to step in and perform when the usual relationships fail.” Novick also...

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Re-imagining Manhattan

Posted by on Jan 28, 2013

You might have missed this in your holiday busy-ness, as we did: In December, Atlantic Cities reported on a project by a team of architect and planners from the University of Michigan to rethink Manhattan in the light of the clear danger of damage from future versions of Hurricane Sandy: From the edges to the center of the island, the Michigan team’s concept plan alternates marshes, tidal defense berms, floating neighborhoods, hydroponic farms and new parks to protect against flooding. It also retrofits flood plains with a new datum above the water line for service, emergency and power...

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Artificial reefs for tsunami protection

Posted by on Jan 23, 2013

In Sumatra, new methods are under development to protect cities from tsunamis: “It uses the concept of cathode accretion–putting a small electrical charge in the water that draws calcium carbonate (the stuff reefs are made of) out of solution and onto an iron-based skeleton. The calcium slowly accumulates, creating an artificial reef and wave barrier.” And down the road, the same method may be used to create community hubs as places of refuge from tsunami waters.  

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Why the Dutch Can Implement Flood-Control Measures

Posted by on Jan 9, 2013

There’s a fascinating article in today’s online issue of The Atlantic Cities: “We’re In This Together: What the Dutch Know About Flooding That We Don’t. The short article explores why residents of The Netherlands can pull together to put in place flood-control measures, even if they cost a lot of money. In The Netherlands (Holland), a flooding event is nearly universal–nearly everyone is affected by it, so everybody knows that they have to deal with control measures. In the U.S., by contrast, a flood affecting New Orleans or coastal New Jersey won’t...

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