Report Frontline

Pervious concrete pavements to combat urban flooding and heat islands

Sarojini Bishi

Bhubaneswar: Due to rapid urbanization in India, weak roads such as bituminous and concrete surfaces are widely constructed. During the rainy season, excessive rain water flows on this road, which causes flooding in many cities. Realizing that areas such as parking lots, cycle tracks, and pedestrian paths in urban areas do not require impermeable pavement due to light traffic, researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bhubaneswar have developed a solution, the “Pervious Concrete Pavement”. This renovation will help reduce rainwater runoff and promote groundwater recharge.

Unlike conventional pavements, this concrete features interconnected voids with at least 15% porosity, allowing rainwater to penetrate the pavement and recharge groundwater. It reduces rainwater run-off and urban flooding and is particularly suitable for areas such as parking lots, cycle tracks and pedestrian walkways.

To evaluate the performance of permeable concrete pavements, rainfall data for June 27, 2024, were collected from the GMAG Lab of the School of Earth, Ocean and Climatic Sciences. During the rainfall of 47.24 mm per hour from 1.30 to 4.00 in the afternoon, 6.8 cubic meters of rainwater penetrated the pavement without any run-off.

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