Meeting on Water Sensitive Cities .
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
“A Storm in the City” was the title of a workshop held at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, which was attended by some of Israel’s leading landscape architects and water engineers, as well as representatives from various municipalities around the country. They discussed how a city may benefit from a rainstorm rather than regard it as a nuisance, and what needs to be done to make this happen. The workshop was held as part of ongoing research on www.kkl-jnf.org/about-kkl-jnf/green-israel-news/march-2017/meeting-on-water-sensitive-cities/Water Sensitive Cities in Israel carried out by the Technion in Haifa, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Ben Gurion University in the Negev, with the support of KKL-JNF and JNF Australia.
The participants were welcomed by Prof. Tali Alon-Mozes of the Technion Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning, who organized the event. She said the reason that specialists from so many fields were invited is because solutions will only evolve when there is cooperation and a meeting of minds between people in the different professions. Amongst the participants were researchers, town planners, and municipal and water authority officials.
Prof. Iris Arvut, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion said that the workshop is yet another link in an ongoing study on how to deal with storm water flooding which began in the 1990’s.
Ran Katzir, of the KKL-JNF Maintenance Division, said that he was thrilled to be at the event with so many professionals and specialists.
“KKL-JNF is an environmental organization that concentrates heavily on afforestation and water conservation. It was JNF Australia that first introduced Israel to the issue of water sensitive cities and water sensitive open areas, following early research that was done at Monash University in Melbourne. We were introduced to Yaron, a young Monash University doctoral student who was investigating the phenomenon, and happened to be Israeli. That is Dr Yaron Zinger. Since his return to Israel in 2010 we have been working together on Water Sensitive City research, and this is the first workshop geared towards application in the field.”
The morning session was followed by round table discussions, where mixed groups, including architects, town planners and officials from the various municipal water authorities, brainstormed solutions on how to work together. Many of the participants came away with the attitude that an awareness campaign should be initiated, highlighting the dangers and benefits of runoff storm water, depending on how it is treated. They agreed that new regulations should be put in place with appropriate and strict legislation.
Read more about the storm water runoff management session, and see photos