In a few months the rain will start to fall consistently again and we will see flooded areas, people and property devastated by the water and politicians out there in their wellies trying to assure people that they are doing everything they can…
However, there is still not a single proper overall Master Plan developed by designers showing how to deal and develop within the future of more frequent cloudbursts in Ireland.
There are no plans addressing how road networks, contouring, urban spaces, parks and more ‘green and blue surfaces’ (grass,plants trees, wetland areas, streams etc.) and a sensible use of materials will help to significantly alleviate climate change challenges –saving tax payers billions by avoiding traditional in-ground solutions.
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) are still not standard features in new developments.
There is still not any stand out projects showing how new urban spaces, parks and green areas can deal with cloudbursts in Ireland.
These climate challenges should be consistently addressed through forward planning in projects involving Urban Designers, Landscape Architects and Engineers.
Enghave Park Proposal - Copenhagen by Tredje Natur Architects, Cowi and Platant - image courtesy of Tredje Natur Architects
Creating more ‘green and blue surfaces’, both on the ground and on roof tops, will absorb increasing amounts of water. Good contouring will assure that when the rain hits the ground it will be directed towards the areas we want it to go avoiding that it gathers in buildings, basements, on roads and overflowing rivers and lakes.
There is a need for both overall Cloudburst Master Plans which will cover larger cities, detailed Local Area Plan solutions for specific areas and villages and detailed designs for specific projects – making urban spaces and parks that can become flood plains during cloudbursts.
The City of Copenhagen has recently dedicated €52 million to 100 projects addressing these issues. With traditional in ground solutions this alleviation would have cost €3 billion!
Ireland need to start investing in sustainable cloudburst control because soon the rain will start to fall again......
Projects in Copenhagen addressing Cloudburst issues: