We propose the urban integration of 'bioswale parklets' that offer a flood management solution while creating a new type of public space.
The tension in our relationship to water is altered in light of climate change. Accelerated provocation of extreme weather, which brings about flooding, is a consequence of human activity. Rising sea levels, fiercer storms and increased precipitation are all repercussions that impel cities to adapt to aggravated environmental conditions.
Present anatomy of cities need new strategies to manage the challenges of excess water. As constructed environments, cities are composed of impermeable surfaces made of composite materials such as concrete and asphalt for its landscaping. These properties makes the city vulnerable to increased water volumes. In New York City, stormwater runoff pollutes local waterways and volatile weather systems such as Hurricane Sandy caused billions worth of damage (USD 32 billion). Furthermore, the substantial psychological distress from the loss of lives and homes in the aftermath of man-induced natural disasters is unquantifiable.
With New York City as a case study, we propose a design intervention seeking to radically increase the permeability of available surface area on the city’s inner streets. The proposal takes a holistic approach to urban design by providing social infrastructure for the local community while introducing new green spaces that encourage biodiversity. It is based on the premonition that the need for inner city car parking space will decrease with the proliferation of ride-sharing services and autonomous vehicles in the near future. Thereby, we see an opportunity to occupy the street spaces currently reserved for parking and repurpose them to adapt the city for a new climatic condition.