Designing the resilient city

The phenomenon of global warming is associated with an increase in the frequency and seriousness of meteorological catastrophes affecting all regions of the world. Combined with the effects of run-away urbanisation, these climatic events are putting more and more people and property at risk.

It is becoming imperative that all regions be able to adapt to and limit the effects of climate change. We can no longer oppose what is happening, and risk managers and planning authorities must work together to find resilient solutions rather than rigid, breakable ones.

Flood prevention is a case in point. ‘Floodability’ should increasingly be considered a prerequisite for the development of new urban districts, seen as a positive asset contributing to a dynamic design rather than as a negative constraint. The management of flood risk should be integrated in the design of public spaces from the very outset in an effort to work with nature rather than against it, with the preservation of natural water courses, the preference for permeable, free-draining surfaces, and the provision of flood water expansion areas. Combined with good design, the added dimension of this new criterion will generate a richer and more diverse urban landscape evolving continuously with the ebb and flow of water.

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