Cities exhibit unique and ever-changing spatial layouts, formed by nested natural and socio-economic systems, sub-systems and components resulting from exchange, interaction, and interdependency processes. In this context, managing surface water in urban areas requires new approaches that integrate the knowledge about territorial patterns and processes into the development of management practices and control structures designed for hydraulic and ecological performance. As integrated systems, green, blue and grey water infrastructure can reduce runoff, increase biodiversity, and offer cultural/health benefits through public access to valued natural resources. This paper introduces a tool using ArcGIS and EPA SWMM platforms to analyse the spatial configuration and composition of the urbanized landscape, designing nested networks of green, blue and grey spaces relevant to the scale of analysis. An example is provided for the City of Porto Alegre, Brazil. The paper demonstrates the use of combined spatial/network analysis, hierarchical design and hydrodynamic modelling in playing a strategic role in advancing the integration of urban planning, ecosystems services objectives and sustainable stormwater management practices.
Republished in part with permission from Bacchin, T. K., Ashley, R., Sijmons, D., Zevenbergen, C. and van Timmeren, A. (2014). Green-blue multifunctional infrastructure: an urban landscape system design new approach. In: 13th International Conference on Urban Drainage, 7-14 September, Sarawak, Malaysia.
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