Water and the City
Risk, Resilience and Planning for a Sustainable Future
By Iain White
Routledge – 2011 – 210 pages
As a vital human need, water has been absolutely critical to decisions as to where cities originate, how much they grow and the standard of living of the inhabitants. The relationship is complex however; we need both continual availability and protection from its potential impacts. Over recent decades flooding and scarcity episodes have become commonplace in even the most advanced countries – and these events cannot be disassociated from the socio-economic context within which they occur; being directly related to how we live, where we live and how we govern.
This book draws together information on a host of connected subjects from population growth to water scarcity to the relationship between humanity and nature, then demonstrates how utilizing notions of risk and resilience could help improve the relationship between the city and its most precious resource. Combining discussions of risk, water and spatial planning it provides an invaluable text for planning, geography and urban studies students on how to address urban water problems within a rapidly changing world.
"White travels a long road through water management history, use, consumption, planning, and technology. He concentrates mostly on Europe and North America. One of the strong points of his book is that he does not feel it necessary to look too far into the future to achieve benefits from the effective management of water resources in the context of cities." – Dan Whipple, Natural Hazards Observer
"This book offers students a concise discussion of the risks surrounding water scarcity, floods, planning, vulnerability, and sustainability." – Natural Hazards Observer
"[T]his volume […] provides its readers with an excellent overview of water and the city both historically and currently and some sage advice with regard to how cities might address water issues. […] Overall this is a well research and timely book that deals comprehensively with many aspects of water in an urban context. It is an excellent example of the value of books written by those who have some planning practice experience as that experience brings with it some unique insights which help to bridge the gap between theory and practice. […] an essential purchase for any university library."– Caroline Miller, School of People, Environment & Planning, Massey University, New Zealand, in the Australian Planner
Section 1: The Past, Present and Future Context 1. Nature, Climate and Hazard 2. Drivers for Change Section 2: The Problems of Water in the City 3. Too Much Water in the City 4. Too Little Water in the City Section 3: Towards A Conceptual Framework 5. Risk, Resilience and Spatial Planning 6. Principles of Intervention Section 4: Planning for a Sustainable Future 7. Hazard and Resilience in the City 8. Exposure and Resilience in the City 9. Vulnerability and Resilience in the City 10. Towards a more Sustainable City Bibliography
Iain White is a qualified Town Planner, a Chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and a Lecturer in Spatial Planning at the University of Manchester. His main research interest lies in exploring issues surrounding water and the built environment.