ISSUES2017 No.3
Editor’s Note: In an urban society, where more people live in cities, more wealth is materialized in cities, and cities take a dominant role in socio-economic development, urban safety has become a critical issue for the sustainable development of cities. It concerns not only the safety of man in front of the risks of natural and manmade disasters in a simple sense, but also the interaction between nature and man to reduce the happening frequency and actual damage of natural disasters in a profound sense. In the long history of human society, man has never stopped the struggles with various natural disasters, such as flooding, typhoon, hurricane, earthquake, landslide, and so on, to get rid of the damages from them, and has gradually accumulated some abilities and measures to avoid and even reduce the risks of natural disasters to a certain extent. Particularly, thanks to the remarkable advancement of modern technology, man can forecast and prevent the happening of disasters, conduct self-protection and self-saving before and during the happening of disasters, and recover from the damage through reconstruction after the happening of disasters. In spite of that, it seems that man can never completely get rid of the risks of natural disasters, no matter how big its economy and how advanced its technology is, because the power of nature is always out of man’s knowledge and imagination. This can be firmly justified by the tremendous damage of Typhoon Hato and Hurricane Harvey which happened recently in southern China and the southern US respectively. Thus, for urban safety in front of natural disasters, man may rely on the relieving measures based on historical experience and modern technology in a short term, but, in a long term, man needs to make great efforts to build up a peaceful interaction with nature which should be based on more understanding about and due respect to nature during the whole process of urban construction and development. In that sense, the experiments of various countries are all the important knowhow that can benefit other countries through exchange and share, such as the practice of Sponge City Construction in China and the idea of Low Impact Development coming from the West, both of which try to deal with the issue of storm water in a sustainable way.

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