resilience reporter

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China’s ‘sponge cities’ are turning streets green to combat flooding

China’s ‘sponge cities’ are turning streets green to combat flooding

A small part of Shanghai is turning greener, street by street.

In the Lingang district, pavements are lined with trees, gardens and public squares full of plant beds. Between cranes and construction sites, plans display new buildings enveloped in the green and blue of parks, streams, and water features.

Lingang (also known as Nanhui after it was renamed in 2012) has a mission. As Shanghai’s “sponge city”, it is piloting an ecologically friendly alternative to traditional flood defences and drainage systems in the coastal city which faces long-term risks from rising sea levels.

Rapid concrete development in China has often blocked the natural flow of water with hard, impervious surfaces; to reverse this, the sponge city concept focuses on green infrastructure, such as wetland areas, rooftop plants and rain gardens.

“In the natural environment, most precipitation infiltrates the ground or is received by surface water, but this is disrupted when there are large-scale hard pavements,” says Wen Mei Dubbelaar, director of water management…


2017: the year in extreme weather

Overall 2017 will be the warmest non-El Niño year on record globally, and over the past 12 months we have seen plenty of extreme weather, both here in Australia and across the world.

Here I’ll round up some of this year’s wild weather, and look forward to 2018 to see what’s around the corner….


India still missing hundreds of fishermen after Cyclone Ockhi

missing in India

Officially, India’s federal Home Ministry put the death tolls from Cyclone Ockhi at 70 in Kerala state and 18 in Tamil Nadu.

India is still missing 661 fishermen, almost a month after Cyclone Ockhi battered its southern waters, according to Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Most originated from coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and Kerala states…

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