Chicago shows how to make cities flood resistent

Smart City Chirine Etezadzadeh

Cities located at a waterfront are increasingly suffering from flooding. Image source: Shutterstock (#537359884).

In the wake of recent super storms, resilience for cities through the prevention of flooding has become more important than ever. For Chicago, flooding has been a topic for more than ten years. The city already has over 100 stretches of permeable pavement and bioswales for storm waters to filter through and drain into the ground below. 80 percent of rainwater does not even get to the storm sewers.

“We try to create porosity and permeability so that water can move in the ways that it moves in the hydrological cycle,” says Jay Womack, a senior landscape architect at Huff & Huff, which designed much of the new infrastructure. “It’s very simple but it’s very difficult for people to grasp because we’ve not designed like that in a century.”

A recent study by the Carbon Disclosure Project revealed that 103 cities globally are seriously endangered by flooding, and could learn a thing or two from Chicago.


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