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Discover the sponge city, a concept created in China that can prevent tragedies like those in RS

16 May 2024 to 00: 35
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Discover the sponge city, a concept created in China that can prevent tragedies like those in RS
Photo: Yanweizhou Wetland Park, in the city of Jinhua. (Turenscape/Disclosure) Read more at: https://super.abril.com.br/ciencia/o-que-sao-as-cidades-esponja-estrategia-usada-na-china-para-combater-enchentes

Chinese architect develops sponge city method to prevent tragedies like those in Rio Grande do Sul. Discover how this innovation can revolutionize the fight against natural disasters.

With so many scenes of destruction caused by the rains in Rio Grande do Sul, one question has been pondered a lot: What can cities do to avoid this type of natural disaster? One of the most innovative ideas in this area comes from China and involves the creation of sponge cities, designed to absorb large volumes of water and prevent tragedies.

How the sponge city capable of preventing tragedies in China works?

the chinese Kongjian Yu, currently one of the greatest architects in the world, is the inventor of the concept and claims that he was born in a small village that has a river. Yu lived in this place for 17 years as a farmer and it taught him how to work with nature.

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His village is in a monsoon area, where it rains non-stop in the summer. When he moved to the big city, Yu understood why they flood. According to him, nature adapts, is alive and the concept of a sponge city to prevent tragedies is based on the principle that nature regulates water.

Yu is, today, the consultant to the Chinese government and has already designed in more than 70 cities, which are currently capable of receiving more rain than what has now fallen in Rio Grande do Sul. It is important to mention that, in 2012, the capital of China Beijing experienced a flood that took the lives of more than 80 people. The event generated a mobilization by the country's government to reverse the situation.

Find out how the sponge city works in practice to prevent tragedies

According to the architect who developed the solution, there are three main points in all the projects he does. The first point is to retain water as soon as it falls from the sky, as Yu states that 20% of the area of ​​every farm has to be reserved for water in dam systems, so that it doesn't all end up going into the main river. And he states that there must be large permeable areas: porous, unpaved.

O second step for a sponge city to prevent tragedies is to reduce the speed of rivers, since when the water slows down, it is possible to give nature the opportunity to absorb it. To slow down, it is necessary to use vegetation and create a system of lakes.

O third point is to adapt cities so that they have floodable areas, where water can flow without causing destruction: create large natural floodable structures so that water can be contained for a while and then quickly absorbed into the water table without invading houses .

The system was implemented in Taizhou and Jinhua, China, where concrete walls that channeled rivers were demolished and replaced by parks. Other cities around the world, such as Berlin, Copenhagen and New York, have also adopted similar proposals to avoid rain-related catastrophes.

Other advantages of the system created by China

According to the architect, building a sponge city to prevent tragedies helps not only to cope with the force of water during the rainy season, but also to keep it flowing through the taps during the driest months of the year.

Around here, the waters of the Guaíba and the rivers that cross the Rio Grande do Sul They haven't gone down yet, but the state is thinking about reconstruction.

Although experts and authorities say that an assessment of the tragedy cannot yet be made, international examples, such as this one from China, raise debates about what can and should be done to readapt cities in the face of the climate emergency. According to the National Confederation of Municipalities, only 22% of managers consider that cities are ready to face climate change.

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