HARVESTING STORMWATER: TRADITIONAL ECOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE AND DRYLANDS STORMWATER INFRASTRUCTURE IN TUNIS, TUNISIA
Maswood, Fatema Syeda
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In Tunisia, the presence of water wavers between poles of scarcity and catastrophic abundance, its drought-prone climate punctuated by increasingly erratic bursts of precipitation. Flash floods, now frequent in the western parts of the Mediterranean coastal region, are merely one facet of the climate crisis’s effects on the region’s human settlement and ecosystems. In this thesis I examine Tunisia’s capital city, Tunis, as a past and future site of flash flooding, exploring colonial alterations of the urban form during the French colonial era, exacerbated flood risk as a result of development on marshlands, and the possibility of distinctly North African green stormwater infrastructure rooted in traditional ecological knowledge. Pre-colonial water-harvesting methods adapted to the semi-arid climate are analyzed, modelled, and visualized in flood simulations to speculate on their viability as nodes in a decentralized network of small-scale water harvesting systems.
- Landscape architecture