How the Water-Food-Energy Nexus contributes to planning for environmental resilience and enables integrated urban design solutions

Authors: Fortino Acosta*, University of Nevada - Las Vegas, Steffen Lehmann, Director of UNLV School of Architecture
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Landscape, Coupled Human and Natural Systems
Keywords: FWE-Nexus, Resilient City, Planning Framework, Sustainable Use of Resources, Ecosystem
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: 8222, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Secure access to food, energy, and water resources continues to be challenging for many cities. During the last decades, rising demand for resources is bringing varied strategies to become more efficient in the management of intertwined resource domains. Meanwhile, some of them achieved secure resource access and supply based on strategies that inter-connectedness of the different domains of food, water, and energy. This presentation explores two case studies where a resilient planning framework was used in order to provide relevant information about interactions and points of conflicts between the city and its ecosystems. The method used is based on a consecutive analysis of four broad layers: Firstly, an analysis of landscape constraints by topographic, geomorphological, and geological factors. Secondly, a water management analysis including climate-change scenarios related to more flooding and more drought. The third stage of planning is cognate to connectivity and includes habitat connectivity for wildlife, energy, and communication systems, logistics, towards pedestrian circulation and universal accessibility. Finally, land uses suitability and specific design solutions were introduced to harmonize with other components and better integration with the landscape. In conclusion, the presented method is a part of broader urban planning strategies, with the aim to create a platform that helps to identify biodiversity and ecosystem functions spatially, and to prioritize specific areas of interest where the water, food and energy domains interact and interplay within the city, its immediate context, and their future urban scenarios.

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