the bigger picture

the bigger picture

“So you dug all the crooks, restored all the sprengs … why you got no running water?” “Well … a couple kilometers away, they’re building a new city quarter on high grounds. It stops the rain from going into the ground and form a waterbuble down below or got transported this direction.”

Sounds like a ‘third world problem’ isn’t it? It isn’t … it is a ‘breaking ground’ problem which needs a groundbreaking solution.

And let’s face it: I’ve lived in a beautiful villa in Fèz, Morocco. When I asked my landlord what he did with his rainwater. The answer was: “I just flush it away.” Why? He didn’t want it on his property.

biggest picture

biggest picture

Last decade of the century this was common practice from the Netherlands all the way upstream untill Switserland. Everywhere more concrete and pavement is used and farmers drain their soil for economic reasons. Their machinery got bigger and sunk into the soil, that’s why …

So we need to look at the bigger picture …

Since people want to sit in their garden and drink their coffee outside, the newest trend is to cover the whole place with slabs. The municipality faces a new challenge because these gardens don’t absorb rainwater. And so invented new systems to gather these waters and slowly let them sink into the ground. 

Strange … using less pavement in gardens would do the trick anyhow. One would expect people would surround themselves with plants and nature once living in urban area’s. More and more people surround themselves with desertlike environments.

Modern Zen Scenery

Modern Zen Scenery

Their inspiration is the Japanese Zen garden, but they replace its fine gravel by pavement. Which is the exact opposite of its original design. Built to absorb water.

in Dutch

example: one needs 25 liters for every m2 of water collection; a terrace of 10mand a roof of 40m2 =50m2, needs 1250 liters of collection space.  One can lower a part of the garden 3×4 m with 10cm.  And … most households do not sit the gardens in front of their houses.

Back in the sixties people used conversation pits for these reasons. During rainy seasons people didn’t sit outside anyway.

new era, new approach

new era, new approach

With all these wadi’s in the city, people start up city gardening … and city quarters get transformational. Not mentioning the people of Green Guerilla, they revolutionize public spaces by throwing ‘bombs’ of flowerseeds on several location in urban area’s. They’re pretty serious about it, I like them very much for their funfactor.


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