The key to reconcile ecology and urbanism is to address how the ‘urban’ and the ‘hydro’ interact. Yet, it is clear that there are countless obstacles to make tropical cities more livable. To begin, we must acknowledge that these cities will experience some of the most adverse impacts of climate change.
They will become focal points of weather extremes — ranging from intense rain to intense drought — and as a result, they are the most vulnerable, lacking the proper infrastructures to manage these extremes. Tropical cities will also experience some of the highest population growths in the coming decades, hosting some of the largest rural to urban migrations in history, further adding stress to urban systems & infrastructure.
There are several tools and sustainable solutions to address these pressing issues. Among these, Water Sensitive Urban Design encompasses a wide range of solutions through the interdisciplinary knowledge of landscape, ecology, hydrology, environmental engineering, planning and design. The act of coordination and integration is at the end the overarching agency of design thinking, now clearly substituting conventional engineering in order to provide the critical solutions to integrate the technical, the cultural and the social. WSUD charts a path so that tropical cities can become more livable, more resilient and more competitive in the global economy of the 21st century.