It is now clear: to survive climate change we need to rethink our cities and also landscapes by imitating nature. Here's how architects, engineers and designers did it in countries where these things have been discussed for a long time.
The Sponge Cities In Holland
An interesting proposal on how to intervene to make the soil more efficient comes from the studio De Urbanisten, creators of the Sponge Garden in Rotterdam. This garden experiments with solutions for collecting, retaining and returning rainwater to the natural environment starting from reducing the paved space towards the creation of a place with a high level of biodiversity, up to the creation of channels.
While an experiment is also underway to transform public spaces into water collection points in the event of heavy rains and into parks and sports facilities in the less rainy seasons.
But in Holland, also thanks to a millenary tradition of studying the relationship between urban living and water, in 10 years of actions in the Netherlands, the Room for the River initiative has broadened the river banks, eliminating embankments and concrete structures and transforming the surrounding areas into parks that can be enjoyed in times of drought and in places of drainage during floods or floods.
The Sponge Cities in Australia
In Melbourne, in the gardens of Edinburgh, the company GHD has designed an underground collection system which, by recovering and filtering rainwater, supplies 60% of the annual water requirement . All with the creation of channels that give a recognizable aesthetic to the garden.
The Sponge Cities in China
In China, the landscape architect Yu Kongjian with his studio Turenscape create spaces in perfect synergy between nature, engineering and design. His vision is to heal the natural hydrology that we have disrupted by tightly limiting rivers with levees, putting buildings or parking lots where the water wants to linger, or erecting dams that have, to varying degrees, dried up 333 rivers in the Yangtze area.
"Those gray infrastructures are actually killers of the natural system, on which we must depend for our sustainable future," reads the Turenscape study website. an approach that fails to look at the whole environment. Drainage is separate from water supply; flood control is separate from drought resistance."
And it is from here that we need to start again, from asking water and nature what it would have done if we hadn't built. It is in that response that the design of the habitable and sustainable city of the future lies.