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Translating nature based solutions for urban areas

March 22, 2018

A leaking wastewater pipeline

<5 mins read, approx. 500 words

This year’s World Water Day’s theme is nature based solutions to reduce floods, droughts and water pollution. The theme ‘Nature for Water’ urges us to explore solutions already available in nature because when ecosystems are ignored, it becomes harder to achieve water for all and explains how we can use nature to overcome the water challenges of the 21st century.

How does it translate in terms of our rapidly urbanizing world, where nature or nature based solutions for that matter are hard to come by? Here are a few facts to look at while we consider this:

Many cities across the world are in fact turning to green infrastructure solutions that utilize nature’s ecosystem services in the management of water resources and associated climatic risks. Despite this knowledge and application in cities (like Melbourne, Vancouver and Los Angeles), Phoenix, the fifth largest city in the US, has been rated as ‘the world’s least sustainable city.

If the cities in the US are being rated this way, then definitely the situation could be pretty grim for African, LatAm and Asian Cities. A paper recently examined the links between urban planning and the politics of water provisioning and violence and conflict and corruption in people’s lives by drawing upon research in a low-income locality in Ahmedabad, India, a relatively more advanced and progressive city in India. This is not only the case in Ahmedabad, as India’s capital city of Delhi has never been able to alleviate its water woes along with the other metropolitan cities of Chennai and Bangalore. Karachi, Pakistan is also not far behind.

In conclusion: Cities around the world are continually growing as they attract people, resources and ideas, and are drivers of global and national development. This is especially evident in countries like India, where by 2030, 70% of the GDP and 70% of new jobs will come from cities. Green infrastructure could provide the much needed nature based solutions (Improved water quality, Reduced potential for flooding, Enhanced resilience to climate change, Reduced sewer infrastructure cost, Increased green space for communities and wildlife to name a few) for our urban environs if human centric approaches are at the center of the planning process.


Its World Water Day. How can you get involved?

Happy Spring Everyone!

This article Translating nature based solutions for urban areas first appeared on theflipsideofdevelopmentdotwordpressdotcome

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