Let It Flood
In a metropolis like Glasgow, urbanisation can lead to population overgrowth and demand fast development in transportation, business and residential sectors, these sectors contribute to the emission of greenhouse gases and therefore, to the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect directly and significantly influences our living environment, for example, flooding and rising water levels threaten our homes, businesses and travel. The emission of waste gases produced by vehicles can contribute to physical diseases such as lung cancer and pneumonia and the city’s overgrowth can also increase the risk of mental health issues. Limited employment opportunities and the demands of a high population can cause social issues like rising unemployment and anti-social behaviour. As landscape architects, we can create new green spaces in the urban realm to provide places for people’s daily activities such as exercise, social engagement and transportation, to alleviate social and environmental pressures.
'Let it flood' considers the source of the problem and its consequences. Flooding as a consequence is the focus of this project. By designing a new topography for the riverside landscape this project seeks to increase the water storage and filtration capacity, for example, through integration of wetlands and retention pools. This proposal also offers improved biodiversity, for example, by providing habitats for waterbirds.
To tackle the source of the problem, the greenhouse gases, this project proposes to use plants to absorb gases like carbon dioxide through photosynthesis and to redesign the motorway to reduce the number of vehicles on the roads and cut down the emission of greenhouse gases. Through the transformation of the existing road system, we can build a city-scale green network. With the continued reduction in the number of cars in the city, the use of car parks and the motorway will be reduced and over time will be abandoned, these spaces can be transformed into designed landscapes.
The transformation will take a phased approach. Firstly, the riverside vacant spaces will be designed to defend against a flooding disaster. Secondly, car parks will be redesigned to absorb greenhouse gases. Finally, with the future extinction of cars, the motorway infrastructure can be totally transformed into a city-scale landscape network.