In the Netherlands, flood prevention is a key part of urban design. But when there isn’t a flood, there’s better use for the water collection infrastructure.
With room for basketball, skate-boarding, or just relaxing, the Watersquare Benthemplein also serves as a collection area for rain water. The square has two smaller basins that collect run-off from a nearby area, including building rooftops. A third, larger basin takes water from a wider area. The Watersquare can take on 450,000 gallons, or about 8,500 bathtubs. Eventually, the water drains into the ground or into a canal close-by.
The area was previously an “austere post-war modernist space” with little for people to do. The locals wanted more facilities, and the bonus of flood protection allowed officials to justify the investment.
Florian Boer, the founder of the De Urbanisten design firm who designed the square, asserts that there is an educational benefit as well. ”When infrastructure becomes invisible, there’s a risk that people don’t see it as a problem. They don’t understand how much money gets spent on these things. We said ‘let’s make it closer to people in some way’,” he says.
The designer’s website: http://www.urbanisten.nl/wp/?portfolio=waterplein-benthemplein
An experiment to send a pulse of 34 billion gallons of water coursing down the Mexican extent of the Colorado River, a stretch drained dry by overuse upstream in the US, is taking place between March 23 and May 18. The purpose of the pulse flow is to improve surface water and groundwater conditions in the delta and to enhance the delta’s natural vegetation and wildlife.
IBM has seen the technology world changing as much as any other vendor and that’s part of the reason it bought SoftLayer last year –to broaden its cloud offerings. Today, the company has built upon that, announcing new security and disaster recovery services that could make the cloud more attractive to companies that remain skeptical.
One area the cloud excels in is disaster recovery because it stores your applications and data outside your data center. When a weather event, fire or other disaster strikes, your data is protected in the cloud and your operations can go on.
And that’s the idea behind IBM’s Cloud Virtualized Server Recovery (VSR), which will keep virtualized instances of your most critical applications and data in the SoftLayer cloud, regardless of whether your services are run primarily in SoftLayer or in your own data center or private cloud. As IBM, pointed out, downtime is expensive and if you have a virtualized cloud insurance policy, you could keep going even while your center was in tatters.
Emergency management executive Alessandra Jerolleman is the recipient of the 2014 University of New Orleans College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Alumna Award.
For this week’s Featured Member Profile, we spoke with Michelle Sollicito creator of SnowedOutAtlanta, a Facebook group which garnered national coverage for its use of social media to assist thousands of stranded motorists and endangered citizens throughout the Atlanta metro, during the snowstorms in January 2014.
This is the core document from my USAID contract. Took us three years to write this! We’ve implemented the framework in over 30 countries on dozens of projects. The USAID Global Climate Change office will hold a webinar today at 4pm. Space is limited, but I’ll post the stream once this Friday.
USAID’s Climate-Resilient Development Framework (2014) offers a simple yet robust five-stage approach to help decision-makers and development practitioners at all levels systematically assess climate-related risks and prioritize actions that promote climate-resilient development.
Developed by USAID’s Global Climate Change Office, this “development-first” approach helps decision-makers and practitioners integrate climate considerations directly into development activities across multiple sectors, keeping the focus on achieving development goals despite a changing climate.
Working with USAID missions, governments, and other stakeholders, the framework has been used in Barbados, Jamaica, Nepal, Peru, the Philippines, St. Lucia, Tanzania, and West Africa.
The Disaster Assessment and Assistance Dashboard offers states and localities a comprehensive tool for response and recovery efforts.
A century of oil exploration has made bayou residents ever more vulnerable to superstorms. Leaving, though, is easier said than done.
By using discarded laptop batteries, we created a device that could power lights, fans and mobile phone chargers. The specific prototype we built was able to provide around 20 Watt-hours of energy. In other words, it can power a 5W DC light bulb for about four hours before running out of charge.
On Sunday, March 30, 2014, the outlook appeared grim for cities in northwestern Madagascar. Tropical cyclone Hellen spun offshore, gaining strength with surprising rapidity and with a track destined to bring it ashore. The day started with the storm being the equivalent of a Category 2 storm with winds of 170 kilometers per hour (100 miles per hour or 90 knots). Twelve hours later, winds reached 240 kilometers per hour (150 miles per hour or 130 knots), making it a strong Category 4 storm.