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September 22, 2017

5 stormwater management insights shared by some of the top European experts in the field

- Bring your water-sensitive urban design projects to the next level -
It takes a team of progressive, community-minded stakeholders from across a wide spectrum of professions and disciplines to make an adaptive urban plan for climate-resiliency and stormwater management. And it takes that same team of green thinkers to see it through and to make sure that the plan is flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances. Wavin has gathered some sage insights from a few of Europe’s top stormwater management experts. Let’s see what they have to say…


The stormwater management industry leaders like Wavin are taking a leading role in collecting information on how to do better, how to come up with smarter solutions – by designing forward-thinking solutions, testing their materials, and sharing this knowledge and expertise with cities and other stakeholders. Here are five insights from some of the most respected and knowledgeable experts in the field:

No. 1

Country: Hungary
Dr. Kálmán Buzás

Professor of the Department of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering, as well as the Department of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering at Budapest University of Technology


"Six shortcomings that should be solved to implement water-sensitive urban design:

1. Lack of legal background (rainfall drainage systems don’t qualify as public utility, it’s a statutory task for municipalities, but there isn’t budget support).

2. Lack of economic background (there is no rainwater drainage fee).

3. The technical regulation is obsolete; doesn’t help designers to use modern simulation methods.

4. Lack of detailed and accurate Geographical Information System (GIS) in most settlement.

5. The IDF curves (Intensity-Duration-Frequency) are outdated; their content is unreliable due to the precipitation conditions that have been changed to date.

6. Lack of knowledge of local governments concerning such sewer systems, gained by these state-of-the-art methods, which are capable of adapting to the altering rainwater conditions caused by the climate change, reducing the frequency of flooding and suited for rainwater reuse.

One the above-mentioned six shortcomings can easily prevent the practical implementation of water-sensitive urban design (WSUD)."

Publications by Dr. Buzás may be found here.

No. 2

Country: Poland
Dr. Daniel Słyś

Professor and Head of the Department of Infrastructure and Water Management, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture, Rzeszów University of Technology

 

“The dynamic development of cities, the emergence of new housing estates around large centers, and the soil surface sealing in city centers for commercial or transportation purposes have caused that the existing drainage and rainwater sewage systems are insufficient in terms of hydraulics. Sustainable rainwater management activities should take into account not only the technical aspects designed to relieve rain drainage i.e. by use of retention tanks. They should also provide the possibility of infiltration of rainwater where possible, where it occurs.

All solutions must ensure water quality prescribed in legal regulations and require the use of appropriate pre-treatment equipment. Such actions can only be successfully carried out with the acceptance among the population that is properly educated and motivated, not only to accept modern architectural and technical solutions but also to apply them in individual solutions.”

Publications by Dr. Słyś may be found here.

No. 3

Country: United Kingdom
Sue Illman

Managing Director of landscape architecture firm, Illman Young. BA DipLA GradDipCons(AA) PPLI Hon FSE Hon Fellow (University of Gloucestershire). CIC Champion for Flood Mitigation and Resilience. Former President of the Landscape Institute


“Whilst we understand that good SuDS needs coordinated team thinking throughout its design, don’t forget that its equally important to have fully coordinated project planning and construction on site if that initial vision is to be fully realised."

Publications by Ms. Illman may be found here.

No. 4

Country: The Netherlands
Dr. Ir. Frans van de Ven

Associate Professor of Urban Water Management at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at the Delft University of Technology


“Flooding is a wide concern nowadays. The problem is not so much that there is flooding on the street, the problem is the damage it does. So the question is, how much are you going to invest in resolving the problem of flooding and how much are you willing to invest in resolving the problem of the damage?

You can either invest in increased drainage and storage capacity to reduce frequency and degree of flooding, or in reducing the damage sensitivity of your urban environment – two ways to go that are both widely applicable. Can we design an urban system that minimizes the damage when it fails due to hydraulic overloading? That is an important challenge.”

Publications by Dr. van de Ven may be found here.

No. 5

Country: Denmark
Dr. Luise Noring

Program Director and Assistant Professor at Copenhagen Business School, non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and an expert in sustainable urbanization at the European Commission.


“Cities are for people. One of the major issues is the scale and the speed at which urbanization is taking place. 70% of the global urban population will be city citizens by 2050. Cities are economic powerhouses and therefore it’s very interesting to look at cities from the human element. There is so much focus on economic growth and, in the process, we are maybe forgetting about sustainability. Sustainability will make a city liveable.”

Publications by Dr. Noring may be found here.

Sustainability and climate resilience

In our recent whitepaper, “The role of urban stormwater management in a building a sustainable, climate-resilient city”, we stress the importance of the human-to-human contact. The collaboration between a cross-section of stakeholders and thought leaders, like the five men and women quoted above, is essential to developing an integrated and holistic municipal infrastructure. Essentially, it takes a movement to make a city climate-resilient. At the very least, it takes open discussion and ongoing interaction between government leaders, experts and the community at large. So let’s keep this conversation going.

Be part of the urban SWM dialogue

We urge you to read our urban stormwater management materials and join the dialogue. Engage in a green, progressive initiative that will change the way we approach the problem of pluvial flooding and, on a broader level, the effects of climate change as a whole. And, of course, spread the word.

You can download the Urban Stormwater Management Toolkit here.

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