Strategies For Physical Environment Based On Water Ecosystem Services Overall Performance: A Case Study of Tian’ao Water Sensitive Rural Area In Shengsi

Tongji University, Shanghai, China
Group work with Jieqiong WANG, Shiying PARK, Junwen GE


Addressing the concept of water sensitive rural design, we aimed to explore the efficient physical forms of rural areas that impact the overall performance of water ecosystem services(WESSOP).

Through the literature review and case studies, we proposed a conceptual model which consists of 18 key environmental factors relating with four water ecosystem services, which can be categorized under involved elements into the water, bank, biotope, and anthropogenic intervention. Besides, WESSOP improvement should follow three sequential targets: the first is water ecology, which is the foundation of the holistic aquatic ecosystem. Then water habitat comes second, which highlights the promotion of ecosystem quality by serving more biodiversity. When both targets above can be satisfied, we are allowed to address water landscape for bonus benefits for society.

Taking Tian’ao Village in Shengsi, China as a case, we exemplified how the conceptual model could guide the planning and design of rural waterfront environment. The water body has been classified into three types according to the proposed functions(i.e., ecology, habitat, or landscape), for which specific design strategies have been proposed considering the related physical environment factors.

18 Environmental Factors Relating with Water Ecosystem services
Conceptual Model of Water Sensitive Rural Design
The pyramid represents the sequential  targets in the water sensitive rural design. The lower a water ecosystem service stands in the pyramid, the more prior it should be taken into account in the environment-friendly design. The target sequence follows as grey water interception, runoff management, purification, freshwater provision, aquatic flora and fauna diversity conservation, enhancing rural aesthetics, and recreational opportunities provision.