Creating adaptive urban environments for people and wildlife
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Vegetated riverbanks slow the flow of water and reduces erosion and sediment entering the water. Our research in China (Hong Kong, Suzhou and Guangzhou) explores the role of vegetation along river, stream and lake banks in controlling greenhouse gases released from rivers while improving urban resilience to flooding.
Rain gardens are man-made drainage areas with vegetation that provide many of the same benefits as natural wetlands. Our research projects in the USA and Canada demonstrate that rain garden design and management impacts their effectiveness at reducing flood risk and moderating the micro-climate.
Lakes and ponds help reduce the risk of flooding, support biodiversity, remove and store carbon, nitrogen and other pollutants, and provide a source of drinking water and food. We investigate how to improve the management of urban lakes and their surrounding spaces to increase these benefits in three cities across India and Mexico.
Images: iStock/JaySi, iStock/bingfengwu, iStock/Dymov, Earthwatch US