How a sponge approach can help build more climate-resilient cities

Sponge Approach for Climate-Resiliant Cities

Heat domes, wildfires, droughts—Canadians have firsthand experience of the effects of climate change on our weather. And from British Columbia to the Atlantic provinces, this also includes heavier and more frequent rains, which are flooding communities across the country. A sponge approach can help build more climate-resilient cities.

In the past, lawns, gardens, parks and meadows did some of the heavy lifting after a downpour, absorbing water into the ground. But as concrete jungles expand, excess water has nowhere to go. “All the rain gets deflected into the storm sewer system, which can only take so much water,” says Ron Schwenger, president of Architek.

With more forceful rainstorms happening more often, these systems become overwhelmed, putting a high imperative on creative new solutions to reduce the deluge. For Schwenger, stemming this rising tide means making building surfaces more absorptive. “The spongier a city is, the more capable it is of managing water during a heavy rain event,” he says.

Read how Architek is innovating with Blue Green Roofs on

Sponge Approach for Climate-Resiliant Cities

Architeck Group of Companies
Our Vancouver offices are located on the unceded and ancestral territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and Swx̱wú7mesh speaking peoples, the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Swx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, and has been stewarded by them since time immemorial. 

Vancouver is located on territory that was never ceded, or given up to the Crown by the Musqueam, Squamish, or Tsleil-Waututh peoples. The term unceded acknowledges the dispossession of the land and the inherent rights that Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh hold to the territory. The term serves as a reminder that Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh have never left their territories and will always retain their jurisdiction and relationships with the territory.


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