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Water-sensitive urban planning – How can heavy rain and storm water be better managed?

2023 - Results of the Connective Cities dialogue event from 6 to 8 December 2022 in Cologne in cooperation with Stadtentwässerungsbetriebe Köln (StEB Köln) and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)


Burkhard Vielhaber


Connective Cities


Heavy rain and storm water events, such as those in Germany's Ahr Valley in 2021 or in Pakistan, Australia and South Africa in 2022, cause streams to swell into raging torrents. They flood roads, destroy houses and bridges, as well as important infrastructure. Yet not only do they cause damage worth billions – they also lead to loss of life. They occur suddenly, and can only be predicted at short notice. Due to climate change, these events will continue to increase in frequency and severity worldwide.

Connective Cities organises opportunities for local government experts in Germany and worldwide to dialogue on relevant and current topics, in order to deepen development cooperation. 41 experts from 16 cities and eight countries accepted the joint invitation of  Connective Cities, Stadtentwässerungsbetriebe Köln (StEB Köln) and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) to this dialogue event.

Twelve practical examples from five countries formed the starting point for an intensive collegial discussion on which approaches can be used to minimise the risks of heavy rain and storm water events for people and municipal infrastructure. Existing projects were enriched and new project ideas emerged. The documentation provides insights into this consultation process.



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