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The specifics of challenges for highways engineers may vary from country to country, but some similarities are emerging, as seen from projects in the UK, the Netherlands and China. Jeroen Rijsdijk, Arcadis Netherlands, discusses how engineers can adapt to these complex interdependencies.
Similar challenges are often experienced in China. For instance, many high density urban developments in China include extensive underground structures (multi-storey underground car parks and shopping malls) underneath 40 floors of flats.
The unintended consequence of this is that there is little soil left for infiltration and storage. This makes it hard to deal with the objectives of the Chinese climate adaptation program ‘Sponge City’ in which these areas should become more climate resilient. As rainfall patterns change, and intense precipitation becomes a lot more frequent the developments and infrastructure are at risk by not being able to deal with these more extreme conditions when working with old ‘traditional’ design solutions. The awareness that water expertise should be more integrated with road and spatial design is just beginning to sink in.