Are New Zealand cities and towns prepared for the increasing intensity of rainfall events resulting from climate change? In the context of the recent Auckland floods and Cyclone Gabrielle, we are investigating whether adopting a ‘sponge cities’ approach could help us mitigate flood risk. Also known as ‘blue-green’ approaches, or ‘water-sensitive urban design’, such approaches aim to reduce stormwater run-off by increasing the quantity, and ‘sponginess’, of green spaces in a city, increasing the porosity of surfaces such as roading and paths, and restoring natural water flow.
A Shared Future
Communities must urgently develop adaptation strategies that consider the voices of those most affected by climate change.