People who own and run a water feature will soon become disillusioned with it if it costs more than a modest amount to maintain. Planning should thus aim to avoid high maintenance and running expenses. A number of very creatively successful water features have been closed because of technical problems, the need for frequent repair work and unduly high running costs.
Traditionally fountains and other running water features are closed in winter. But it is possible to run them all the year round if appropriate preventive measures are taken, like frostproof water storage facilities and a heated water supply.
A thorough planning approach will pay particular attention to the later running of the water feature. More or less elaborate solutions will be selected according to location... >
Section through purification biotope
Water can be a problem in urban open spaces. Building water features seems prohibitively expensive, too many things can go wrong, and maintenance is too expensive. But when the water quality is right, pumps, filters and control devices are working properly, the parts of the building that come in contact with the water are not damaged and when water, along with light and sound effects, turns boring places into exciting ones, no one wants to be without it. But however easily and lightheartedly water flows and splashes – it needs expert handling in urban landscapes.
Constructed water features are always individual objects. They emerge from interplay between the possibilities offered by the site and clients’ and planners’ ideas and wishes... >
We are going to have to learn how to handle water in future. This means co-operative planning and a high level of participation. A project in Hannoversch Munden has produced some early experience in this field.
If you ask people about environmental problems in surveys, water is almost never mentioned. More of them are aware of traffic, noise and air pollution and the hole in the ozone layer. We carried out surveys in Dresden and Frankfurt in which only 7.6 % of the Dresden residents questioned mentioned water as an environmental problem, and in Frankfurt it was only 3.3 %. We need to drink water every day, and use it to keep clean, to promote a sense of well-being, and for recreation.
So why is it not watched with particular care in respect to possible environmental problems? How can this ... >
The enormous economic expansion and construction boom in China holds the world in suspense. The dimension and tempo of the boom are hard to rival by any western metropolis. When working with the Chinese, one encounters inner values which trigger surprising and unusual lines of questioning for occidentals. Water is valued in China, and respected not only in ‘Feng Shui’ Water has great symbolic power which is deep seated in traditional value systems – values which are worth transporting to the modern world of today.
Situated on the upper reaches of the Yangtze Delta only 180 kilometres from Shanghai, Hangzhou is the capital of the Zhejiang province. The Hangzhou district has a population of over 6 million, the city itself is over 1.7 million strong and growing fast... >