Designing to change the world

There is still snow on the ground in Tokyo, but starting off on a tropical note... as the Maldives, Fiji and Tahiti need mention since they are today faced with a problem emanating also from precipitation of a different type: rain. The fact is, rain in torrential amounts due to monsoons, not to mention storms and cyclones, lead to flooding especially in small island nations.

However, these locations are furthermore threatened by sea level rises, becauses overflowing rivers and storm surges eat away at coastlines. In particular, the South Pacific French territory of Tahiti is said to be mulling use of oceanborne habitats, although the wave and tide issues appear unsurmountable unless some innovation at the micro- or nano-size (perhaps in cavitation bubble or supercritical stage form?) can be found quickly.

To scrutinize from a larger scale, there is currently an attempt to deal with the building of cities while honing in on the water issue. In a different manner, although still under the sword of sea level rise due to low-lying terrain, the equatorial city-state of Singapore is ironically faced with shortage of freshwater yet as it happened a short while ago being hit with flash flooding, particularly near the international airport.

The renowned trade port furthermore has seen of late seen rail collisions and similar logistics-related incidents, a situation which Japan-based engineers and environmental design specialists along with affiliated Artificial Intelligence (AI)/computer consultants and together with Tokyo Metropolitan University (TMU) researchers hope to ameliorate with various proposals being provided based on Tokyo’s experience.

For Singapore and then other similarly-situated cities, TMU and associated experts are suggesting a view as to the setting laden with water to keep a bigger picture in mind as an essential portion of the urban component {see www.waterpolitan.com}. This in part emanates from pioneering work at Hokkaido University. In a gist, a grand design with attention to logistics of water and otherwise is being offered.

TMU Prof. Dr. M. Umeyama and Lecturer T. Nakajima, Dr. Eng., had their paper selected by Springer as one of the world-changer papers so apparently are aiming to realize their ideas. U.S. broadcaster PBS will also cover their ideas in the Sinking Cities series. As a side note, it is understood a close look at water in smaller units will also follow in the future, after the mega-project is in place.

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