The Cultural-Social Benefits of Developing Green Channels: Case Studies and Demonstration in Jeddah City, Saudi Arabia

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Virginia Tech

"Creative Thinking about the future requires tension -- the tension of holding both the need and the possible in our awareness at the same time." Milenko Matanovic

Constructing concrete open channels can provide a quick, efficient solution to help prevent an area from flash floods and water accumulation. However, such a solution does not take into consideration the increased land needs for housing and public open spaces, in addition to missing the opportunity for benefitting from rainwater and reusing the municipal water of cities in greening sustainable stormwater channels. The United Nations (2014) reported that 54% of the world's population is living in urban areas, and it is predicted to increase to 66% by 2050. Jeddah City, Saudi Arabia already struggles from both lack of open spaces while consuming spaces in constructing concrete open channels, only made worse by the rapid growth of population and urbanism. Although the rate of precipitation in arid regions is low, studies and evidence show that even in arid regions turning the majority of urban areas into impervious surfaces is restrictive and the result of doing so is devastating.

This thesis aims to find an environmental alternative solution for an open drainage channel designed to function as a stormwater management facility as well as a central green finger for Jeddah City. It will take into consideration international and regional precedent design and future development of green channel case studies, to provide efficient design recommendations to planners and designers, who aim to redevelop constructed or proposed stormwater channels using sustainable green infrastructure practices to improve a city's livability.

Green stormwater channel, Green infrastructure, Ecological wastewater treatment, Sense of place, Greening arid countries