According to climate change scenarios Baltic Sea Region (BSR) will face more frequent and heavier rainfalls. At the same time the trend in urban planning is to densify urban areas. It leads to more serious urban flooding that causes costs, environmental degradation and risks to human safety. Current planning and management practices have proven to be weak in meeting these challenges. Therefore there is a clear need for transferring storm waters (SW) from a problem to a resource for urban areas.
SW management must be among top priorities in urban development and should be integrated into urban planning processes at all levels. To achieve these goals, cities around BSR have to meet common challenge of dispersed planning and management responsibilities of SWs. iWater aims to improve urban planning by developing integrated and multifunctional SW management in Central Baltic cities and creating higher quality and more resilient urban space and increase of urban sustainability.
iWater provides a platform for science-practice collaboration aimed to find and develop common management methods, guidelines, tools and solutions for Integrated Storm Water Management (ISWM). 7 iWater partner cities will adopt new ISWM programmes/plans and 25-35 other BSR cities will be trained to use developed methods.
ISWM tools will be developed, localized and piloted in city plans by each partner city. Thus multifunctional SW solutions will be integrated into urban planning by introducing innovative Green Infrastructure solutions that provide ecosystem services. A student competition will be organised to find and develop new and innovative ISWM solutions for 7 partner cities applicable to BSR conditions – SW planning solutions will be elaborated at conceptual and/or sketch design level and construction/investment plans will be prepared. Active involvement of local stakeholders, experts and residents in iWater activities will be ensured.
Expected Results (EN):
R2.3. Share of urban areas covered with integrated urban management
Expected Outputs (EN):
iWater will improve integration of all stakeholders involved in urban planning process (e.g. civil servants from municipal departments, residents, construction companies, NGOs, experts, etc.) in relation to SW management and increase understanding of the benefits of multifunctional SW solutions.Local SW management practices will be developed into a full Integrated Storm Water Management (ISWM) approach which will link all urban planning processes and stakeholders on all levels (master/detailed urban planning/construction permitting/street planning/environmental planning/infrastructure planning/municipal level/regional level). 7 iWater partner cities will develop and adopt their own SW programs/plans. Also ISWM guidelines and ISWM peer review evaluation criteria will be developed.Urban planning will be taken to a higher level by developing, localizing and piloting ISWM tools that allow using multifunctional solutions in urban planning. Approx. 25-35 BSR cities and regions will be trained to use the ISWM approach outlined in ISWM guidelines and different tools. Evaluation criteria for sustainable SW solutions and review of previous cost-benefit analyses of SW systems will be done. An open idea competition will be organised to develop innovative ISWM solutions that are applicable in BSR and to communicate widely about why to invest in these solutions. Based on ideas, partner cities will prepare plans for innovative pilot investments showcasing the benefits of integrated SW management (water quality, recreation, urban biodiversity, flood prevention, etc).The results will directly increase the share of urban areas covered by ISWM through piloting and programming and in a long term the guidelines and tools supporting implementation of ISWM in urban areas will be disseminated to cities and institutions in BSR.