Students from Hydraulic Engineering, Urbanism and Architecture worked in our interdisciplinary design program three yeas ago in the case of Tokyo Edogawa Ward. They lifted their project to an academic paper published in Geoscience.
Engineering for flood resilience of dense coastal regions often neglects the resultant impact on urban design quality. Vital subsurface infrastructure such as hydraulic systems, water networks, civil construction, transport, energy supply and soil systems are especially important in shaping the urban environment and integrating resilience. However, the complexity and resource intensive nature of these engineering domains make it a challenge to incorporate them into design measures.
In the process of planning, this impedes proactive collaboration between the design and engineering communities. This study presents a collaborative design engineering exercise undertaken to find spatial solutions to flood-prone Edogawa ward in Tokyo, Japan. The team included urbanists, hydraulic engineers, water resource managers, and landscape architects. Hydraulic engineering solutions were combined with spatial planning methods to deliver two alternative strategies for the chosen site. Each alternative was then evaluated for its urban design quality and effectiveness in reducing flood risk. The exercise highlighted that successful design requires comprehensive interdisciplinary collaboration to arrive at a sustainable bargain between hard and soft measures.