Water-sensitive urban development

 

Measures for a sustainable adaption of regional water management to climate developments and extreme weather events

Background:

Climate change increasingly affects urban facilities and infrastructures through heavy rain and long periods of draught. Flooding and overloaded canal networks endanger hygiene in settlements as well as environmental protection services and the operation of infrastructure networks. These problems are expected to worsen and be further increased by developments such as demographic and economic change.

The necessity of adapting settlement structures to increasingly frequent heavy rain events and periods of draught will determine the tasks of urban development more and more. However, concerns of water management have so far not been given priority in planning practice. While the effects of urban planning on specialist water management planning are examined in the processes required by law, they usually only lead to a retroactive adaption of the planning concepts. Considering the expected impact of climate change, it is vital to take water and the effects of heavy rain and draught on spatial uses into account early on in the planning process.

Aims of the project:

The objective of this research project was to find out how to successfully implement water-sensitive urban development against the background of financial restrictions and the uncertainty of climate scenarios: Which measures can be taken and which conditions must be created for the measures to be implemented and accepted locally? In close cooperation with practice partners from the Ruhr district, we developed a catalogue of measures rooted in a database. This catalogue details the options of water-sensitive urban planning and how it can be implemented into local decision-making. Both practical and structural aspects were taken into account so that problem-solving strategies could be derived from the spatial potentials of quarters and neighbourhoods.

Areas of action:

The research project showed a number of possible ways to meet the challenges of climate change in settlements. One such chance exists in demographic and economic change: abandoned areas caused by shrinkage could be used for the adaption to changed precipitation conditions and therefore for the sustainable redevelopment of the urban structure and for the improvement of the quality of life.

At the administrative level, new norms, tools, and processes are necessary that allow for water management concerns to be considered early on in the planning process.

At the level of implementation, innovative development solutions are required, which should ideally be affordable and possibly unconventional. In this context, the interim use of areas for water retention in settlements is of particular importance.

At the stakeholder level, it is vital to establish a transfer of knowledge between the disciplines and to achieve the acceptance of the stakeholders affected. Without their acceptance, water-sensitive urban development in existing settlements is impossible.

Process:

In order to achieve the aims of the project, we created a work programme subdivided into five work packages:

  • Analysis of existing norms, tools, and problem-solving approaches, both in Germany and abroad
  • Identifying the need for action for a water-sensitive urban development
  • Creating a catalogue of measures of water-sensitive urban development
  • Checking and evaluating the measures regarding their suitability, acceptance, and transferability in scenario workshops
  • Developing a database-based information system on water-sensitive urban development dependent on settlement structure parameters

Publications:

Benden, Jan; Vallée, Dirk: Städtebauliche Anpassung an Starkregenereignisse durch multifunktionale Flächennutzung – Beispiele aus den Niederlanden. In: Pinnekamp, J.: Gewässerschutz – Wasser –Abwasser 220. Tagungsband zur 43. Essener Tagung für Wasser- und Abfallwirtschaft – Perspektiven und Risiken. Aachen 2010

Benden, Jan; Siekmann, Marko: Starkregen im Stadtquartier - Modellierung von Starkregenabflüssen und städtebauliche Implikationen. In: Stadt Region Land, Heft 87, Tagungsband AMUS 2009, Aachen 2010

Benden, Jan: Wassersensibler Stadtumbau im Zeichen des Klimawandels – Lernen von den Niederlanden? In: Stadt Region Land, Heft 86, Aachen 2009

Benden, Jan; Hoelscher, Martin; Hunecke, Marcel; Siekmann, Marko: Wassersensible Stadtentwicklung – ein Beitrag zur Anpassung an den Klimawandel. In: Mahammadzadeh, Mahammad; Biebeler, Hendrik; Bardt, Hubertus et. al. (eds.): Klimaschutz und Anpassung an die Klimafolgen. Strategien, Maßnahmen und Anwendungsbeispiele. Cologne 2009

Zwischenbericht Wassersensible Stadtentwicklung – Maßnahmen für eine nachhaltige Anpassung der regionalen Siedlungswasserwirtschaft an Klimatrends und Extremwetter (April 2009)

Benden, Jan; Siekmann, Marko: Wassersensible Stadtentwicklung. Anpassung von Siedlungs- und Infrastrukturen an den Klimawandel. Tagungsband zur Klimakonferenz "Anderes Klima – andere Räume!". Leipzig 3./4.11.2008

Abschlussbericht Wassersensible Stadtentwicklung (1. Phase) - Netzwerk für eine nachhaltige Anpassung der regionalen Siedlungswasserwirtschaft an Klimatrends und Extremwetter (April 2008)

Presentations:

Benden, Jan; Vallée, Dirk: Städtebauliche Anpassung an Starkregenereignisse durch multifunktionale Flächennutzung – Beispiele aus den Niederlanden. 43. Essener Tagung für Wasser- und Abfallwirtschaft – Perspektiven und Risiken, Essen 17.03.2010

Benden Jan; Siekmann, Marko: Starkregen im Stadtquartier. Modellierung von Starkregenabflüssen und städtebauliche Implikationen. 10.Aachener Kolloquium Mobilität und Stadt, RWTH Aachen, 17.09.2009

Hoelscher, Martin: Wohin mit dem Wasser – Wassersensible Stadtentwicklung als Chance im Klimawandel. Vortrag auf der MUNLV-Tagung „Klimawandel in Ballungsräumen“ BEW Essen, 04.02.09

Benden, Jan: Wassersensible Stadtentwicklung. Anpassung von Siedlungs- und Infrastrukturen an den Klimawandel. Vortrag auf der Klimakonferenz „Anderes Klima – andere Räume!. Universität Leipzig 3. - 4.11.2008

Benden, Jan: Maßnahmen zur Anpassung der regionalen Siedlungswasserwirtschaft an Klimatrends und Starkregenereignisse. AMUS-Ehemaligentreffen. RWTH Aachen, 19.09.2008

Project flyer:

Download (pdf/300KB) (in German)

Sponsors:

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF); funding priority KlimaZwei

Project duration:

April 2008 – March 2010

Project partners:

RWTH Aachen University, Institut für Siedlungswasserwirtschaft (ISA), coordination

RWTH Aachen University, Insitute of Urban and Transport Planning (ISB)

Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Faculty of Psychology, AG für Umwelt- und Kognitionspsychologie

University of Duisburg-Essen, Faculty of Engineering, Landschaftsarchitektur

Practice partners:

The cities of Bochum, Essen, and Herne, Wasserverband Emschergenossenschaft/Lippeverband, Ruhrverband and the Gelsenwasser AG

Contacts at the ISB:

Dipl.-Ing. Jan Benden

Dipl.-Ing. Christoph Riegel