Reconnect city & water: How can we turn the flooding threat into an opportunity to create new relationships between the city and water?

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2022
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Zhu, Chunlu
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The context of the design proposal is Wuhan, China, which has a indivisible relationship with water(Yangze river). From historical and current perspectives, water shaped the city while the city also limited water. Over the centuries, citizens in Wuhan have fought to resist flooding because of the weather conditions and low topography. A growing population and the scarcity of agricultural land led to the draining and reclamation of large bodies of water, which exacerbate the flooding risk. Even though specific climate predictions remained in uncertainty, it is nevertheless a fact that we need comprehensive analysis and assessment for flood risk to better understand the elements that causing floods, while searching for further measures to guard against, and to take advantage of, flooding. The oldest protective measures in Wuhan were to enclose land with dykes, these high dykes tend to get in the way of any direct relationship between the city and water, and just leave a rigid and inflexible impression to the kids and citizens, which indicates that these structures need to be better incorporated into the urban fabric. The starting point for this Master’s Thesis was to search more resilient and long-term measures for flooding mitigation from an architectural perspective, thereby promoting and reproducing the connection between the city and water. Conformable to more resilient solution, dynamic landscape design is introduced as a method to connect current context with stormwater as a flexible and variational element to promote urban resilience. Thereby, water management and dyke adaptation needs to be integrated into urban life, thus promoting outdoor activity and interaction between the city and water. Research into the field of layer models and spatial qualities defined the target environment and strategies for promoting sustainability through design.
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