Improving Decision-Making in Urban Stormwater Management – Strategy and stakeholder process
Facilitating and improving decision-making in urban stormwater management is a key goal of the interdisciplinary research project “Concepts for urban rainwater management, drainage and sewage systems” (KURAS). By reinstating a more natural hydrological cycle, by increasing infiltration, evapotranspiration and stormwater reuse at the building or neighborhood level, e.g. via green roofs, pervious surfaces, swales and artificial ponds, to name but a few, stormwater management has the potential not only to reduce flooding and river degradation but also to improve landscape and habitat quality, the urban climate and resource efficiency, to reduce costs, and to respond more flexibly to uncertain future conditions. These multiple potential benefits have been valuated in a systematic way, thus providing a quantitative and comparative assessment of the effects of the various approaches to stormwater management as a basis for decision-making. An important element is the stakeholder involvement in planning in order to expose interests, resolve conflicts and to discuss existing financial, legal, administrative and knowledge-related barriers to adapted urban stormwater management. For two representative neighborhoods in Berlin, Germany, alternative and realistic stormwater management scenarios have been developed based upon an analysis of the current state and evaluated using the effect indicators. Central actors for stormwater management in Berlin are collaborating with other stakeholders in the sample neighborhoods to formulate and prioritize goals regarding the selection of measures, to discuss the evaluation results and to develop transition strategies. The presentation will focus on this experience of stakeholder participation in the design of stormwater management systems on the neighborhood scale. It will present preliminary findings to be translated into recommendations for policy makers and practitioners.