WIT Press


CELEBRATING URBAN WATER, NATURE AND ECOLOGICAL PROCESSES TO MITIGATE URBAN RISK

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/WS170091

Volume

216

Pages

11

Page Range

101 - 111

Published

2017

Author(s)

MUKHERJEE MAHUA

Abstract

Water historically facilitated cities to survive, sustain, celebrate and create distinguished identities. This can offer livelihood, wisdom, culture, entertainment, sensibility, and most importantly nature connect, be it river, lake, pond, stream or fountain. Diminishing qualitative and quantitative presence of water bring rising crisis and risks to cities in the recent period. This paper explores whether, in addition to multiple eco system services (ESS), urban water can provide urban risk mitigation while celebrating nature connect and natural ecological processes. Green Infrastructure (GI) offers ESS as complementary service to engineering Infrastructure. Its potential as an urban risk mitigation tool is attracting urban authorities to use it as a resiliency tool. The Green Resilient Infrastructure (GRI) can help towards social, economic and environmental sustainability with the additional advantage of mitigation. Urban water management through GRI can resolve problemslike flooding, water scarcity and other associated problems like urban heat island (UHI), pollution, etc. India’s urban growth rate is unprecedented now and cannot offer quality living standards; there is an opportunity to make substantial improvement to this deteriorating urban climate using GRIs. The paper reviews the issue further into policy and refers to two Asian initiatives. In Kyoto City, successive landscape policy formulation and implementation has helped the city to preserve water as an essential urban element, and to mark celebrations with its pristine rivers. The city is now equated with most sought-after urban living quarternestled within nature; and visibility of urban waters add beauty and safety both. China’s sponge city mission is another case where struggling cities are relying on water-based GIs to convert them into GRIs to survive and celebrate urban lives. Both these cases are learning lesson for emerging countries like India and every city has a future with water to celebrate and manage risks.

Keywords

urban water, celebration, ecosystem services, green infrastructure, urban risk, green resilient infrastructure, Kyoto, sponge city