A solution for urban storm flooding

Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 23:20 in Earth & Climate

Flooding, on the rise due to climate change, can devastate urban areas and result in drawn-out, costly repairs. Cities are in dire need of new strategies to manage the influx of stormwater. An interdisciplinary team of engineers and urban planners at MIT has now developed a solution: multifunctional urban stormwater wetlands and ponds that seamlessly integrate the control and cleaning of stormwater with ecological and recreational benefits. Stormwater flooding in cities is exacerbated by urban infrastructure, as many of the natural ecosystems that would absorb rainfall have been replaced with pavement, which greatly limits an area’s infiltration capacity. This keeps stormwater on the surface, where it picks up all kinds of pollutants — trash, heavy metals, industrial chemicals — that are eventually carried into nearby bodies of water, often including the local water supply. Many cities do not have adequate systems in place to handle stormwater runoff, the largest single cause of...

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