How Do Ancient Chinese Technologies Help Address Today's Climate and Disaster Risks?

Build with Nature in the PRC: Integrated Fushougou Drainage System Built by Ancient Chinese People

The video presents the ancient Chinese wisdom behind the Fushougou drainage system built over 900 years ago and still in use today. The Fushougou Drainage System manifests the Chinese philosophy in “respecting and staying in harmony with the nature”. Its main structures include open channels, culverts, ponds, and water windows. These parts cooperate with the 8km-long city wall seamlessly, forming an integrated flood and drainage management system.

The system adopts nature-based solutions and the sponge city concept in managing sewage, stormwater and floods in an innovative way. Its design well integrates gray and green infrastructures, fosters urban ecosystem, improves the micro-climate and people’s wellbeing. The Fushougou Drainage System is a model of sponge city built by ancient Chinese people over 900 years ago, which is still benefiting people today. It is a masterpiece for the world’s human ingenuity.  

Transcript

Integrated and Nature-based Fushougou Drainage System

Many cities have suffered from severe waterlogging and flood due to heavy rain, but Ganzhou has remained safe and sound. The Fushougou Drainage System, constructed by ancient Chinese people 900 years ago and still operational today, contributed immeasurably to this great achievement.  

The Fushougou Drainage System is ingenious in design and manifests the Chinese philosophy in “respecting and staying in harmony with the nature”. Its main structures include open channels, culverts, ponds, and water windows. These parts cooperate with the 8km-long city wall seamlessly, forming an integrated flood and drainage management system.

Liu Yi, a well-known water conservation specialist in Northern Song Dynasty, was the chief designer of the system. He expanded the open channels and culverts, which greatly increased the amount of rainwater collected.

The Fu and Shou channels are connected to each other, and to over one hundred ponds, which greatly increases the city’s stormwater storage capacity and is especially important when there is continuous heavy rain.  In addition, people raise fish in the ponds and grow vegetables in the accumulated mud, forming a virtuous ecological cycle. Ponds also play a role in regulating temperature and improving the climate.

Liu Yi upgraded the culverts to a width of about 90 cm and a height of 180 cm.  In the form of a brick arch structure, the size of the culvert changes with the topography which enables the water flow naturally into the river.  In addition, twelve one-way water windows were constructed in the city wall. The design of water window fully utilizes the principles of water pressure and hydrodynamics. The culverts near the water windows become narrow suddenly´╝îaccelerating the water flow so that the windows can be rushed open. During flood seasons, the windows will be pressured to close by the water from the river. Therefore, the river water cannot flow backwards into the city. 

The Fushougou Drainage System is a model of sponge city built by ancient Chinese people, which is still benefiting people today. It is truly a masterpiece for the world’s human ingenuity.  

 

 
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