Dumballs Road, Tiger Bay, Butetown, Cardiff, Wales, CF, United Kingdom
Designing water sensitive, flood resilient and liveable cities
Flood resilience, Climate change, Liveability, 20-minute city
Flooding is one of the worst environmental challenges of the UK. It is estimated that by 2050, one in three homes in the UK will be at risk of flooding. It is not enough to just ban development in higher risk areas, as flood maps are liable to change with climate change and low-risk flood zones are already densely populated so new developments have no choice but to be sited in higher-risk zones. At the same time, new developments need to promote the health and wellbeing of residents, which this thesis looks at through the lens of the 20-minute city.
This project looks at evolving a new type of neighbourhood that integrates natural flood resilience solutions into the design of the build environment in order to create high-quality liveable spaces at macro- and micro-scale. Solutions such as restoring wetlands and introducing canals, and embedding water harvesting and recycling technology into building systems all work together to create healthy, flood-resilient cities for the next century.
Culminating with a masterplan for the urban regeneration of an old industrial estate, Dumballs Road in Butetown in central Cardiff, that stretches up along the river Taff, this project looks critically at flood resilience, connectivity to services and how the built environment can be better designed to protect and improve the value of infrastructure and lives.
Sustainability; noun. Definition: the ability to continue or be continued for a long time (Oxford Dictionaries, 2022) My key interest in architecture is sustainability - how can a place be designed with systems and processes that ensure that it is economically viable in the long term, remains relevant to surrounding communities and uses resources in a way that is not harmful to the environment? Seeking the triple bottom line of sustainability in architecture is important in improving quality of life and wellbeing, and my thesis hones in on water and connectivity as resources to capitalise on to push this concept.