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Urban Hydrologics studies the intersection of water management, urban resilience, technology, and climate change adaptation. Since its inception in 2009, the group upholds that cities be planned and designed in accordance with the science of water to achieve high-performing sustainable networks for people, ecology, economy, and progress.
Launch Post from 2009:
Pedro Santa served as the Lead Consultant for Coastal Resiliency and Blue-Green Infrastructure input for Bjarke Ingels Group’s Penang South Islands (PSI) 4500 acre Masterplan, from 2020-2021. The “Penang BiodiverCity” proposal was awarded first place in the international competition, out of 124 submissions from 26 countries. During the competition stage in Q1-Q2 2020, Pedro was appointed as the lead consultant to provide input to BIG while still serving a Senior Associate position at Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl Singapore. Once the full awarded consultancy was launched in Q4 2020, Pedro Santa was seconded by Ramboll and joined the Bjarke Ingels Group’s Landscape & Planning team to serve as the Local Project Manager in the Malaysian Time zone. His scope was to lead client engagement and direct Input for Stormwater Management and Nature-Based Solutions for Inland and Coastal Resiliency.
Project Credits: Bjarke Ingels Group, Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl, Hijjas, Gamuda Land, AJC, Walrus
Image source: penangpropertytalk.com, archdaily
On November 4th, 2019, Urban Hydrologics was welcomed to a conference in Sydney, Australia to present software innovations. The paper and presentation showcased Urban Hydrologics climate-tech platform from their December 2014 white paper. Due to work commitments, Pedro Santa was not able to attend the conference in Dec 2019 to deliver the presentation. Urban Hydrologics is honored for the welcome invitation from conference organizers, and we look forward to presenting our climate-tech software in the future.Continue reading
In Q2 2018, Pedro Santa was nominated and selected as a jury panelist for Climate Action SDG in a United Nations event held in Singapore. Titled – “Innovation Lab 2018 UNLEASH” – the event served as a Global Innovation Program for all United Nations SDGs. It hosted talents from across the world to collaborate on solutions incorporating UN SDGs (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals). As part of the Jury Panel for Climate Action SDG, Pedro Santa focused on nature-based solutions, blue-green Infrastructure, climate policy, design-engineering-ecology, and interdisciplinary problem-solving.Continue reading
Starting Q3 2017, Pedro Santa was appointed at Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl as the Project Manager for the blue-green infrastructure consultancy for Punggol Digital District. Working in partnership with diverse project consultants and WOHA Architects (the Qualified Professional, Architect, Masterplanner, and Lead Consultant of the Project), Pedro Santa fostered innovative strategies which incorporate building-integrated landscape systems, nature-based solutions, ABC Waters engineering procedures, and urban design principles, to form a 21st Century Industrial Estate, that cultivates education, technology, environment, and innovation. Project Credits: JTC | WOHA Architects | Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl | Diverse ConsultantsContinue reading
Urban areas are especially prone to natural hazards, and combined with the fact that people increasingly live in urban areas—with a projected 6 billion by 2045—the potential for devastation will only continue to grow. By 2030, without significant investment to improve the resilience of cities around the world, climate change may push up to 77 million urban residents into poverty, according to Investing in Urban Resilience, a new report by the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR).Continue reading
The Urban Hydrologics Strategic Adaptation Framework for Tropical Watersheds has been developed from extensive research and practical experience, aiming to enhance the resilience, performance, and co-benefits for communities within the pan-tropics. The framework consists of the following components: Two contexts for Strategic Integration, Three Key Strategic Scales, and Four Key Variables.Continue reading
The Urban Hydrologics approach considers all urban surfaces as an interconnected network that receives, captures, detains, and conveys rainwater from the top of roofscapes and façade surfaces down to the ground level and ultimately to downstream waterways and river corridors. This reinterpretation and redefinition of the city as not a series of objects but of a series of surfaces defines the Urban Hydrologics approach. Each surface has a role to play in managing rainwater on it’s way to rivers and streams – giving light to the phrase – “your building is the river” UHS, 2015. This idea concept was articulated by Pedro Santa during explanations of the Urban Hydrologics approach to diverse contacts in tropical cities.Continue reading
In 2011-2012, Pedro Santa served as a collaborating author in “Puerto Rico’s State of the Climate 2010-2013 – Assessing Puerto Rico’s Social-Ecological Vulnerabilities in a Changing Climate”. He supported the PRCCC by providing content on water resources and climate change impacts to surface water, groundwater, and subsurface water resources, with accompanying island scale maps of PR. The text provided outlined the extent of PR’s island-wide water resources and how they would be impacted through sea-level rise, rising temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, the increase of heavy storms events, coastal erosion, and environmental degradation.Continue reading
Achieving a Resilient Coastline is Singapore’s peak blue-green infrastructure project. Living and working in Singapore since 2011, Pedro Santa of Urban Hydrologics has noticed that Singapore has mastered the application and implementation of blue-green infrastructure networks throughout its inland waterways, communities, and reservoirs. The coastline has yet to receive the same attention concerning using Nature-Based Solutions for coastal resilience and sea level rise adaptation. Pedro Santa states that the Coastline will be Singapore’s crowning achievement as the world’s leading blue-green resilient island. It holds massive potential as a culmination project for an island nation that strives for water resilience and ecological vibrancy. The coastline’s design and engineering can incorporate diverse natural elements. Urban Hydrologics’ has composed a menu of coastal defense ecologies most compatible with Singapore’s context, industries, and future-proofing aspirations. The hybrid coastal networks can incorporate recreational amenities, such as the Round Island Route, which Singapore plans for execution in the coming years. We are excited to be a part of Singapore’s Resilient Coastline transformation as a group focused on Holistic Water Resilience – inland and coastal.
In 2012, Atelier Dreiseitl was awarded first place for Kallang Riverside Landscape and Urban Hydrology Masterplan, where Pedro Santa served as the design lead for the competition proposal and subsequent consultancy. He crafted and sketched the visionary concept argument – that developers should avoid the “old paradigm” of urban development – where buildings impose themselves onto the landscape – and embrace a “new paradigm” – where ecological landscape, & resilient infrastructure are prioritized.Continue reading
In May 2012, Pedro Santa presented the first Urban Hydrologics thematic lecture at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. The presentation covered the principles, concepts, and technical strategies needed to develop Water Sensitive Urban Design Masterplans and climate-resilient urban regions, focusing on transdisciplinary designs, blue-green infrastructure configuration examples, and implementation alternatives for nature-based solutions in tropical cities. The Lecture was hosted by the INDA Design Program of Chulalongkorn University.Continue reading
In February 2012, Pedro Santa shared a stimulating conversation with formative influences: Timothy Beatley, Peter Newman, and Herbert Dreiseitl. The meeting took place at the newly built Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, and it was a fascinating discussion and meeting of the minds. The conversation also covered how decentralized water-sensitive urban design maximizes co-benefits for society, economy, and ecology.Continue reading
In a recent article featured in the news section of eco-business, Lin Zhaowei from the Straits Times highlights a study conducted by the consultancy firm — Solidiance — that looked at the economic, environmental and social factors that determine how eco-friendly Asian-Pacific cities have become. Because of their economic growth and rapid population increase, many of these Asian-Pacific cities have turned to green infrastructure projects to ensure environmental sustainability and among them Singapore is ranked no. 1 in water management and green building policy. According to Lin Zhaowei: “Singapore is among the top four in a new study ranking Asia-Pacific cities in terms of their ‘greenness’. This is the first comprehensive study of this kind in the region.”
Urban Hydrologics proposes that all Tropical Islands Nations strive to achieve Holistic Resilience. This approach considers the integration of inland and coastal adaptation to achieve high-performing results that stand the test of time. Global surface temperatures will exacerbate the storms and weather impacts on small islands and coastal watersheds. The Urban Hydrologics approach states that Holistic Resilience becomes a priority for planning adaptation solutions for Inland & Coastal communities and that existing hydrological networks begin to employ green infrastructure, coastal SLR/storm surge protection, and water-sensitive urban design elements in coastlines, rivers, corridors, ecological patches, parks, streetscapes, and plot/building scales.
One of Urban Hydrologics’ core arguments is that Holistic Stormwater Management is the key to unlocking financing towards solving, directly and indirectly, many of the issues of the contemporary city. Many agendas, such as connectivity, pedestrianization, alternate mobility, urban safety & health, business improvement, innovation, biophilia, tourism revenues, property value increases, and other livable city measures, can all be unlocked, in one way or another, through increased investment in stormwater management solutions that employ nature and blue-green elements for quantity and quality management. This idea and conceptual framework is one of the key arguments that set the foundation of the Urban Hydrologics Approach when the group was launched in 2009.Continue reading
Urban Hydrologics has been launched while Pedro Santa studies at Harvard University. He aspires to create a software-technology company equipped to provide data-driven climate adaptation consultancy services. After graduation from Harvard, Pedro Santa looks to gain in-depth professional practice experience in stormwater management, best management practices, blue-green infrastructure, and water-sensitive urban design concepts worldwide — with a particular interest in Singapore as the key nation that’s prioritizing stormwater management in urban design. His objective is to gain unique implementation expertise and to understand how software can play a role in advanced climate adaptation. Gaining industry experience is the first step to developing an Urban Hydrologic Software applicable worldwide. With unique knowledge gained in Singapore, Urban Hydrologics will be ahead of the curve in creating digital tools to meet the emerging needs of governments, industries, communities, and consultants. Experience is critical to successfully creating a software platform that provides recommendations for mitigating weather extremes and climate adaptation in future cities.
The Urban Hydrologics manifesto was written in November 2008, and the organization was officially launched on January 15th, 2009. Since interdisciplinary climate adaptation technology companies are rare and water-sensitive urban design is still an emerging discipline, the objective is to acquire advanced practice and implementation competencies to ensure Urban Hydrologics develops novel software technology to foster climate adaptation mitigation efforts and planning with more precision. We see a rise in data-driven design practices emerging, and we are committed to developing tools that mirror the world in a digital platform to predict climate impacts before they occur.
After graduation from Harvard, Pedro Santa will embark on a ten-year professional experience journey to gain unique experience in water management, interdisciplinary design, climate adaptation, nature-based solutions, environmental planning, and hydrology-engineering companies. This objective requires Pedro to work abroad and interact with engineering teams around the world, to gain the most advanced blue-green infrastructure implementation knowledge. Pedro firmly believes these experiences will qualify and empower him to lead software engineers and a panel of interdisciplinary professionals in the future. Urban Hydrologics aims to pioneer a new business model in an era of climate adaptation – becoming the world’s first tropical climate-based company to combine software, consultancy services, and blue-green monitoring sensor products to improve the financing, planning, design, engineering, operation, and management of nature-based solutions in the cities of tomorrow.
Urban Hydrologics proposes that water is central to the design and planning of climate-resilient cities. Climate Change is an imminent threat caused by human activities and excess greenhouse gas emissions. The increase in terrestrial and ocean surface temperatures will create a compounding effect and accelerate weather extremes. The runaway climate effect will reach a tipping point, accelerating the melting rate of ice caps, affecting the hydrologic cycle, and displacing vulnerable populations due to floods, drought, famine, forest fires, and rising coastal sea levels. Climate adaptation requires a transdisciplinary urban-hydro-logics approach, with new hybrid professionals equipped to strategize, plan, design, build, and manage nature-based solutions at diverse scales – from coastal to inland ecosystems.