Water + The City

Wednesday 17 March 2021 - 18:00 to 19:30


Copenhagen Cloudburst Masterplan, Atelier Dreiseitl

How to deal with the climate emergency is probably the greatest challenge we face as urban designers - as well as looking to make our schemes as sustainable as possible for the long term, we must also ensure that they are resilient and can deal with the impacts of climate change which are already upon us. 

One of the most significant of these is the increase in the number and frequency of severe rainfall events known as 'cloudbursts'. In recent years, both Copenhagen and New York have sought to address this by looking at cloudburst resiliency - how to manage the short, sharp downpours of rain which overpower our traditional urban drainage systems, inundate urban areas, and potentially cause severe damage flood to our shops and homes. 

It is a challenge being addressed in a number of ways around the world. China, for example, are leaders in the ‘sponge city’ model for embedding flood management into their urban areas. Here in the UK, we are slowly seeing an increase in the use of SuDS systems, however with some high profile failures and concerns around adoption issues their rollout has not been universal. 

Jointly hosted with the Landscape Institute London Branch we look forward to hearing from our speakers on what we are doing in the UK right now and some best practice examples from around the world. 


  • Louise Walker  CIRIA, Project Manager 
  • Michael Cowdy  McGregor Coxall, Director
  • Peter Mackey  Chapman Taylor (Shanghai Office), Director
  • Ian Lanchbury  Ramboll, Senior Managing Consultant

Further speakers to be confirmed