In the near future we are expected to deal with two significant phenomena in the city. The first is rising sea levels. Studies indicate an increase of about a meter and a half by the end of the 21st century. The second phenomenon is extreme rainfall events, which together with the expansion of urban development increase the probability of floods in an urban environment. The question that arises, therefore, is how to deal with future floods in the cities – between surface runoff and rising sea levels.
In light of the expected changes, the at-risk urban areas in Israel require planning for flexibility, while maintaining an urban “breathing space”. This space should function on a daily basis, that is, be accessible and connected to the environment, and also be a center of activity or a pause in the city life. In the event of a flood, when the water rises, the space changes its function, allowing for the celebration of a new-old urban event – the flood.
Using the Jaffa Drainage Basin and the Bassa area (Bloomfield Stadium today), which have suffered from repeated flooding over the years, I examined the planning tools available to the landscape architect to deal with urban flooding.