Nature-Based Solutions to Increase Urban Sustainability and Support Stormwater Management
Nature-Based Solutions to Increase Urban Sustainability and Support Stormwater Management Report
In recent decades, the increase of building systems and the consequent impermeabilization of the inner-city environment, poses several negative environmental risks, especially those regarding global warming and water management. Urban green infrastructure (GI) provides benefits to urban inhabitants, but their potential depends on their suitable implementation, under the responsibility of different stakeholders.
Nature-based solutions (NbS) are an effective means to restore vegetation urban areas contributing to its sustainability and resilience. The use of NbS infrastructure helps to reduce flood incidences, furthermore contributing to the mitigation of the urban heat island effect and air pollution reduction. Several NbS such as green roofs and green walls, rain gardens, infiltration trenches and permeable pavements, are being implemented worldwide as an effective strategy to improve the environmental performance of densely populated urban cities. Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate (LECA®) has been widely incorporated in several innovative urban GI solutions due to their key characteristics (e.g. lightweight, porosity and good drainage), developing a crucial role in stormwater management and water runoff quality.
This chapter aims to report the potential influence that several NbS have on urban stormwater management, considering several case studies using Leca® LWA - demonstrating their engineering benefits and innovative properties.
Climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction through the implementation of ecosystem-based approaches are widely applicable and hugely varied. They encompass several related concepts, such as Nature-based Solutions (NbS) and Green Infrastructure, that aim to enhance social and environmental resilience by restoring, maintaining, and improving ecosystems—thus enhancing their services to society, in areas such as water retention and prevention of soil erosion, floods and droughts.
Nature-based Solutions are defined as solutions to societal challenges that are inspired and supported by nature, which are cost-effective, simultaneously provide environmental, social and economic benefits and help to build resilience.
For the effective design and successful implementation of NbS, it is critical to ensure that the measures are adequate for addressing the hazards while also delivering other societal benefits. If well designed, NbS can provide sustainable, cost-effective and multipurpose possibilities that can act as alternatives to or be applied to create synergy with established grey infrastructure.
Nature-based solutions are essential for sustaining clean and healthy water resources. They help to address the risk of flooding and water scarcity (drought) by regulating water flows.
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