Urbanisation greatly changes the natural environment—city growth may cause urban sprawl, increasing land consumption and infrastructure demands, with consequent built and natural environments degradation. To face this challenge, the supporting capacity of the natural environment needs to be addressed in the urban planning process. This chapter will particularly discuss urban drainage role in the planning context, integrating engineering, urbanism and landscaping in order to set the basic conditions towards a sustainable city development. Urban drainage systems (and the related urban rivers) play a crucial role in city planning, once it intermediates the needs of the built environment, providing safe areas free from flooding, and the demands of the natural environment, giving space and passage to floods. This particular feature gives to the drainage system a spatial structuring characteristic and it provides opportunities to revitalise city areas, improving biodiversity and recovering environmental values. On the other side, a city open spaces system is the main reserve of urban areas for sustainable urban drainage interventions. The adequate land use planning and consequent management of these open spaces shall be in the core discussion to produce integrated and functional solutions for built and natural environments.
Part of the book: Urban Agglomeration
One of the significant challenges of recovery in critical situations (post-disaster, post-conflict, refugee settlement, among others) is the prompt and adequate housing (re)construction with scarce resources, and the affected population’s involvement. The Simple Housing Solution (SHS) project consists of a proposal for a methodology for (re)construction of homes and other small buildings (schools, health clinics), using low-cost construction technologies and community labour (mutual help system). The SHS project’s body of knowledge was organised in the form of a course with video lessons on YouTube and a website translated into different languages. The idea is to provide material that may help affected populations to work towards their recovery, with the support of qualified professionals (engineers and architects). The purpose of this chapter is to present the SHS Methodology and its main outputs.
Part of the book: Natural Hazards