The Role of Water-Based Imageability in Climate Adaptation: Promoting Upstream Water Retention through Water-Based Place Identity

Dr. Hope Hui Rising presented her paper entitled “The role of water-based imageability in climate adaptation: Promoting upstream water retention through water-based place identity” for the thematic track on people and environment relationships at the 2017 Council for Educators in Landscape Architecture Conference.

Many downstream areas have used urban design to implement controlled flooding for climate adaptation while it is more cost-effective to mitigate downstream flooding through upstream water retention. To investigate the potential of water-based place attachment in encouraging upstream water retention, water-based place attachment was operationalized into water-based place identity and water-based place dependence. We used cognitive mapping and photovoice recall questions to interview 60 participants sampled from eight water cities to measure waterscape mappability and identifiability as contributors of water-based place identity. Water-based place dependence was derived from interview questions concerning waterscapes’ capacities to help reduce stress and to facilitate self-orientation. Water-based place attachment was measured by the extent to which participants would miss waterscapes if they were to leave the city. Mediation analyses showed that the significant relationship between watershed locations and water-based place attachment became insignificant due to the mediating effects of aquaphilic urbanism, which was a composite measure of waterscapes’ mappability, identifiability, stress-reducing effect, and potential to facilitate self-orientation. In addition, people’s openness toward water-coherent urbanism significantly increased with water-based place attachment only when it was derived from water-based place identity, a composite measure of waterscape mappability and identifiability. Openness toward water-coherent urbanism was measured by interview questions concerning public support for storing public storm water runoff, infiltrating public storm water runoff, water transportation, as well as waterways. The findings suggest that making waterscapes mappable and identifiable helps mainstream upstream water retention to help mitigate downstream flooding more cost-effectively despite upstream areas’ likely lower water densities.

Climate adaptation, place attachment, imageability, water retention, waterscape, mappability, identifiability

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *