Flood control parks

flooded park

The park in the photo above flooded. And that’s a good thing. It’s designed to flood so that homes don’t.

It’s not really a park that flooded. It’s a flood control project that most of the time doubles as a park. Ordinarily the park has a lake, but a few days a year the park is a lake.

Harris County, Texas has an unusually large amount of public recreational land. One reason the county can afford this is that some of the recreational land serves two purposes.

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5 thoughts on “Flood control parks

  1. The park both “has a” and “is a” lake. An interesting case study of aggregation vs inheritance…

  2. If that’s the area I think of (off Westheimer Parkway), it has a couple of dozen soccer fields, a couple of baseball diamonds, a rifle range, an RV field and a bark park. After the rains a month or so ago, it was all underwater, and getting around it was not fun. Still better than having neighborhoods flood.

  3. This is a great example of resilience-oriented engineering. It’s an intensely pragmatic approach, much like controlled burning to prevent forest fires.

    Interestingly the Dutch, being a pragmatic people, find this applicable in society as well. Many people around the world have this mistaken notion that the Dutch are ideologically liberal, but the genesis of their well-known policies actually stems from their intense pragmatism. They believe in “letting in small evils to prevent a big one”. Their liberal approach to soft drugs (while being hard on hard ones) has worked well so far. (their track record on prostitution is spottier however; human-trafficking is still a big problem).

  4. It’s an interesting topic. Sometimes small crises prevent larger ones, like the fire example. The same applies to economics. I believe governments should sit idly by and watch businesses fail. Aside from it being unfair to support some businesses and not others, it also leads to a too-big-to-fail crisis.

    On social issues I’m not so sure. The opposite to the Dutch approach might be the “broken windows” theory that cracking down on petty crime reduces big crime. It’s quite possible that the broken window approach works in the US and the Dutch approach works in The Netherlands. You can’t transplant isolated bits of one culture to another, out of context, and expect the same results.

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