Many urban areas are characterised by dense development, with outdated drainage that often cannot cope with heavier rainfall caused by climate change. The problem is due largely to existing development, and risks are increasing due to climate change. There is little experience in retrofitting sustainable urban drainage (SuDS) into existing urban areas and sites typically have too little space to manage surface water within their boundary. A solution can sometimes be found off-site in the public realm, but this requires new types of cooperation between municipalities and owners not seen before.
The project aims at improving the adaptive capacity of cities to heavy rainfall by demonstrating how SuDS can be retrofitted in public areas normally constrained by existing uses and infrastructure (above or below ground). The project will demonstrate reduced flooding while protecting or improving amenities, biodiversity, health and wellbeing, local economies and saving public money. The adoption of these approaches will increase adaptation capacity to effects of heavy rainfall and deliver added societal benefits.
The projects main outputs will be:
- Demonstrations that develop, test and implement transferable design principles for tailor made SuDS solutions and nature based products;
- A guide to retrofitting strategic SuDS in constrained public spaces and how to deliver added societal benefits;
- A collaborative network and Public/SME procurement partnerships to stimulate innovation for SuDS.
Public authorities and professionals responsible for drainage, citizens and businesses protected from flooding are the main beneficiaries. SMEs will benefit from better collaboration and information.
All urban areas face increasing risks of storm water flooding. Knowledge and experience of SuDS varies widely. These solutions require more than engineering expertise, they also face many institutional barriers that vary between regions and hence a transferable and replicable solution requires cross border cooperation. The partnership brings together organisations with complementary skills and experiences. Working together to deliver solutions at five diverse demonstration sites, partners have the joint capacity to develop and test innovative approaches as well as creating guidance for others.