#IABR — Thousand Rain Gardens

The International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam’s Smart Cities competition received 80 entries by students and young researchers from across the globe. These projects represented the future of cities through smarter technology application in areas such as distribution, energy, mobility, and infrastructure. The Smart Cities Biennial Award ceremony, held at the end of this past April, announced the Sendai Oasis project as one of two winners.

Japan 311 revealed many vulnerabilities in man-made infrastructures such as power plants, sewage treatment centres and tsunami dikes. Sendai Oasis proposes a network of thousands of small rain gardens to enhance flooding risk management. In addition, these rain gardens perform multiple valuable roles throughout the year, including water recycling, integration with smart-grid technology, creation of new green spaces, and restoration of historic wells.

The project title, ‘Thousand Rain Gardens’, is reminiscent of the ancient Japanese legend ‘Thousand Cranes’, where the maker of the paper cranes is granted a wish such as longevity or successful recovery from an illness or injury. This is a fitting homage as Sendai progresses in rebuilding a more environmentally resilient city for the future.

This article is part of our IABR 2012 series. As media partner of the fifth International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, we present the highlights of 2012’s edition. Themed ‘Making City’, the IABR runs between 20 April and 12 August.