Stormwater Should not be Problem but Fun

Under the high speed of constructions of architecture, infrastructure and urban projects, urban spaces are turned into a big concrete and iron hero, however, leaving severe ecological issues. Among those problems, stormwater is a definitely obvious and troublesome issue. Fortunately, more concerns are taken into consideration in regard to sustainable water circulation, that “lie in a better understanding of the nature of the places we live in” (Hough, page 85).


Changes of surface pattern by human’s conquer of urban causes storm water flooding. “Asphalt and concrete replace the soil, buildings replace trees, and the catchbasin and storm sewer replace the streams of the natural watershed” (Hough, page 30). My hometown, Wuhan is a live example of the disaster. Wuhan is a city with numerous lakes and two rivers passing through, Yangzi River and Han River. Since more people rushed to the city, more development of economy and housing have been undergoing. As a result, a great portion of lakes is filled into land for construction, that soft and ecological surface is turned into a hard and mechanical output. Great construction, however, leads to severe flooding during rainy season. In the past August, many places in the city kept being drawn for several days. My aunt and uncle could not even get out for work due to the serious water pooling in front of their apartment. Construction does make our life more convenient and civilized but also set ourselves somehow against to nature.



Wuhan, July 7th


Nevertheless, it is pleasant to see perspective towards nature is changing, that innovative ideas have been proposed in order to solve storm water flooding. For example, a recent concept of “Sponge City*” is well implemented in Qiaoyuan Park by Kongjian Yu in Tianjin, China. He transformed the garbage dump into an urban park with wetland, small rivers, clusters of trees and grass, where people can hang out, chat, take photos and rest. When it rains heavily, the natural circulation system can observe water flows to decrease run-off water in a large amount. The park not only serves as an ecological modification system but also changing the relationship between nature and human into an interactive harmony.


* Sponge City: a conceptual idea same as low impact developing system, proposed by Kongjian Yu.



Hough, M. (2004). Cities and Natural Process. In M. Hough, Cities and Natural Process (pp. 5-25). London: Routledge.



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