Water is Human Life

August 2015, I was part of a project designing a rain garden for the stadium of Jiading, Shanghai. Our team tried exhausting all the frontier designs of rain garden, but still find it quite difficult to form a suitable system for our project. And during the last 5 years I spent in Tongji University, our campus was drowned in the rain storm season for 5 times. The picture below was the situation when we tried to attend the class during the storm. Why it’s so difficult to create a sponge city in China? As a landscape architecture, I alway asked myself.


What the landscape architecture Tom Liptan said in the video is very inspiring because although he is a landscape architecture, the way he looks into the urban water system is so common life oriented. And it’s always so excited to know how the city of Portland developed such a mature network of rainstorm management.

Based on my own study of urban rainstorm management, Portland has 3 main strategies.


source: Environmental Service, City of Portland

GREEN STREET: is to collect stormwater runoff from streets and allow water to soak into the ground as soil and vegetation filter pollutants.

ECO-ROOF: is part of a growing worldwide effort to promote sustainable development and reduce negative impacts on air, water, energy and the earth.

RAIN GARDEN: is to improve water quality in nearby bodies of water and to ensure that rainwater becomes available for plants.

Which allows Portland to become a pioneer of state-directed metropolitan planning, a program which was instated statewide in 1969. Then…if the small scale changes can make a new portland, then what can we do for other cities?



[2]Michael Hough, 2004. Cities and Natural Process: A Basis for Sustainability (London: Routledge, 2004, second ed.) – Chapter: 2. Water (pg. 5 – 25)


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