Urban Water Management 2.0: a review

Main Article Content

Alessandro Sgobbo


Soil, landscape, water, air, biodiversity, climate: in many areas of the planet the degradation degree of such resources requires a virtuous process of reconversion, regeneration and, in some cases, de-urbanization. Recent research on Mediterranean metropolitan areas has shown, in fact, that de-urbanization constitutes a need that is now an essential requirement of these territories. Where to find necessary financial resources? The North European examples of urban renewing, from the Bo01 of Malmö to the Hammarby Sjöstad of Stockholm, from the London GMV to the Vauban of Friborg, show that the response to housing problems constitutes a privileged catalyst for innovative environmental and social policies on an urban scale. Indeed, they demonstrate that urban planning has the potential to find in itself the financial sources necessary to reverse the processes of ecological degeneration that have affected cities.
Some authors believe also that it is too late for an approach limited in preventing new land take and environmental impacts. Furthermore, they think we need widespread building substitutions and the technological adaptation of the infrastructural system. High density would seem to lend itself to become a criterion for the design of such interventions. But high density also needs for an efficient urban water management in order to face both: the increased soil sealing and the increase in rains intensity, that is an effect of climate change.
In this contribute, introducing next issue of UPLanD, we focus on upgrading the WSUD approach toward a planning scale one, usually referred as Water Sensitive Urban Planning.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
SgobboA. (2018). Urban Water Management 2.0: a review. UPLanD - Journal of Urban Planning, Landscape & Environmental Design, 3(2), 125-154. https://doi.org/10.6092/2531-9906/6107
Author Biography

Alessandro Sgobbo, Department of Architecture, University of Naples, Federico II

Department of Architecture


Ackerman, D., & Stein, E. D. (2008). Evaluating the effectiveness of best management practices using dynamic modeling. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 134(8), 628-639.

Alley, W. M., & Veenhuis, J. E. (1983). Effective impervious area in urban runoff modeling. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 109(2), 313-319.

Bacchi, B., Grossi, G., & Ranzi, R. (2002). Un metodo semiprobabilistico per il dimensionamento di una vasca di laminazione. Proceedings of the XXVIII Convegno di Idraulica e Costruzioni Idrauliche, 16-19.

Banister, D. (1998). Barriers to the implementation of urban sustainability. International Journal of Environment and Pollution, 10(1), 65-83. doi: 10.1504/IJEP.1998.002231

Berndtsson, J. C. (2010). Green roof performance towards management of runoff water quantity and quality: A review. Ecological Engineering, 36(4), 351-360. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2009.12.014

Berndtsson, R., Hogland, W., & Larson, M. (1990, July). Field measurements and mathematical modelling of pollution buildup and pipe-deposit washout in combined sewers. In Y. Iwasa & T. Sueishi (eds.), Proceedings of 5th International Conference on Urban Storm Drainage, Osaka, Japan (pp. 325-332).

Brombach, H., Weiss, G., & Fuchs, S. (2005). A new database on urban runoff pollution: comparison of separate and combined sewer systems. Water science and technology, 51(2), 119-128. doi: 10.2166/wst.2005.0039

Brown, R. R., & Clarke, J. M. (2007). Transition to water sensitive urban design: The story of Melbourne, Australia. Melbourne: Facility for Advancing Water Biofiltration, Monash University.

Brueckner, J. K. (2000). Urban sprawl: diagnosis and remedies. International regional science review, 23(2), 160-171. doi: 10.1177/016001700761012710

Bullard, N. (2011). It’s Too Late for Sustainability. What we need is system change. Development, 54(2), 141-142. doi: 10.1057/dev.2011.29

Calafati, A. G. (2003). Economia della città dispersa. Economia Italiana, 1, 1-13.

Calafati, A. G. (2009). Economie in cerca di città: la questione urbana in Italia. Roma, IT: Donzelli Editore.

Campos Venuti, G. (1993). Cinquant’anni: tre generazioni urbanistiche. In G. Campos Venuti & F. Oliva (eds.), Cinquant’anni di urbanistica in Italia, 1942-1992 (pp. 5-39). Bari, IT: Editori Laterza

Conticelli, E., Proli, S., & Tondelli, S. (2017). Integrating energy efficiency and urban densification policies: two Italian case studies. Energy and Buildings, 155, 308-323. doi: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2017.09.036

Cooper, J., Donegan, K., Ryley, T., Smyth, A., & Granzow, E. (2002). Densification and urban compaction: reinforcing the drive for sustainability. Transportation research record, 1817(1), 102-109. doi: 10.3141/1817-13

Costanza, R. (1992). Ecological economics: the science and management of sustainability. New York, US: Columbia University Press.

Coutts, A. M., Tapper, N. J., Beringer, J., Loughnan, M., & Demuzere, M. (2013). Watering our cities: the capacity for water sensitive urban design to support urban cooling and improve human thermal comfort in the Australian context. Progress in Physical Geography, 37(1), 2-28. doi: 10.1177/0309133312461032

Daly, H. E. (1996). Beyond growth: the economics of sustainable development. Boston, US: Beacon Press.

Dandy, G. C., Di Matteo, M., & Maier, H. R. (2018). Optimization of WSUD Systems: Selection, Sizing, and Layout. In A.K. Sharma, T. Gardner & D. Begbie (Eds.), Approaches to Water Sensitive Urban Design (pp. 303-328). Cambridge, Woodhead Publishing. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-812843-5.00015-0

de Graaf, R., & van der Brugge, R. (2010). Transforming water infrastructure by linking water management and urban renewal in Rotterdam. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 77(8), 1282-1291. doi: 10.1016/j.techfore.2010.03.011

De Vleeschauwer, K., Weustenraad, J., Nolf, C., Wolfs, V., De Meulder, B., Shannon, K., & Willems, P. (2014). Green–blue water in the city: quantification of impact of source control versus end-of-pipe solutions on sewer and river floods. Water Science and Technology, 70(11), 1825-1837. doi: 10.2166/wst.2014.306

Di Baldassarre, G., Kemerink, J. S., Kooy, M., & Brandimarte, L. (2014). Floods and societies: the spatial distribution of water-related disaster risk and its dynamics. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, 1(2), 133-139. doi: 10.1002/wat2.1015

Dietz, M. E., & Clausen, J. C. (2005). A field evaluation of rain garden flow and pollutant treatment. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, 167(1), 123-138. doi: 10.1007/s11270-005-8266-8

Dietz, M. E., & Clausen, J. C. (2006). Saturation to improve pollutant retention in a rain garden. Environmental science & technology, 40(4), 1335-1340. doi: 10.1007/s11258-006-9125-4

Dircke, P., & Molenaar, A. (2015). Climate change adaptation; innovative tools and strategies in Delta City Rotterdam. Water Practice and Technology, 10(4), 674-680. doi: 10.2166/wpt.2015.080

Elliott, A. H., & Trowsdale, S. A. (2007). A review of models for low impact urban stormwater drainage. Environmental modelling & software, 22(3), 394-405. doi: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2005.12.005

Ellis, J. B. (2000). Infiltration Systems: A Sustainable Source-Control Option for Urban Stormwater Quality Management?. Water and Environment Journal, 14(1), 27-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-6593.2000.tb00222.x

Ellis, J. B. (2013). Sustainable surface water management and green infrastructure in UK urban catchment planning. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 56(1), 24-41. doi: 10.1080/09640568.2011.648752

Eroksuz, E., & Rahman, A. (2010). Rainwater tanks in multi-unit buildings: A case study for three Australian cities. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 54(12), 1449-1452. doi: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2010.06.010

Fletcher, T. D., Shuster, W., Hunt, W. F., Ashley, R., Butler, D., Arthur, S., ... & Mikkelsen, P. S. (2015). SUDS, LID, BMPs, WSUD and more–The evolution and application of terminology surrounding urban drainage. Urban Water Journal, 12(7), 525-542. doi: 10.1080/1573062X.2014.916314

Foster, J. (2014). After sustainability: Denial, hope, retrieval. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Fryd, O., Backhaus, A., Birch, H., Fratini, C. F., Ingvertsen, S. T., Jeppesen, J., ... & Jensen, M. B. (2013). Water sensitive urban design retrofits in Copenhagen–40% to the sewer, 60% to the city. Water Science and Technology, 67(9), 1945-1952. doi: 10.2166/wst.2013.073

Fujita, S. (1997). Measures to promote stormwater infiltration. Water Science and Technology, 36(8-9), 289-293. doi: 10.1016/S0273-1223(97)00584-2

Galelli, S., Goedbloed, A., Schmitter, P., & Castelletti, A. (2014, May). Conjunctively optimizing flash flood control and water quality in urban water reservoirs by model predictive control and dynamic emulation. In EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts (Vol. 16, p. 4641).

Gao, Y., Babin, N., Turner, A. J., Hoffa, C. R., Peel, S., & Prokopy, L. S. (2016). Understanding urban-suburban adoption and maintenance of rain barrels. Landscape and Urban Planning, 153, 99-110. doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2016.04.005

Geneletti, D. (2003). Biodiversity impact assessment of roads: an approach based on ecosystem rarity. Environmental impact assessment review, 23(3), 343-365.

Georgi, J. N., & Dimitriou, D. (2010). The contribution of urban green spaces to the improvement of environment in cities: Case study of Chania, Greece. Building and Environment, 45(6), 1401-1414. doi: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2009.12.003

Gibelli, M. C. (2006). Forma della città e costi collettivi: l’insostenibile città dispersa. Archivio di Studi Urbani e regionali, (83), 19-39.

Gironás, J., Roesner, L. A., Rossman, L. A., & Davis, J. (2010). A new applications manual for the Storm Water Management Model (SWMM). Environmental Modelling & Software, 25(6), 813-814. doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2009.11.009

Gobattoni, F., Pelorosso, R., Piccinni, A. F., & Leone, A. (2017). The sustainability of the urban system from a hydrological point of view: a practice planning proposal. UPLanD-Journal of Urban Planning, Landscape & environmental Design, 2(3), 101-122. doi: 10.6092/2531-9906/5411

Goodland, R. (1995). The concept of environmental sustainability. Annual review of ecology and systematics, 26(1), 1-24.

Grüning, H., & Hoppe, H. (2007, June). Innovative alternatives for the treatment of stormwater in separate sewage system catchments. In NOVATECH 2007, Proceedings of 6th International Conference on sustainable techniques and strategies for urban water management. Lyon, France.

Gugg, G. (2017). Al di là dello sviluppo, oltre l’emergenza: il caso del rischio Vesuvio. In A. Mela, S. Mugnano & D. Olori (eds.), Territori vulnerabili. Verso una nuova sociologia dei disastri italiana. Milano, IT: FrancoAngeli.

Heinz, B., Birk, S., Liedl, R., Geyer, T., Straub, K. L., Andresen, J., ... & Kappler, A. (2009). Water quality deterioration at a karst spring (Gallusquelle, Germany) due to combined sewer overflow: evidence of bacterial and micro-pollutant contamination. Environmental Geology, 57(4), 797-808. doi: 10.1007/s00254-008-1359-0

Holman-Dodds, J. K., Bradley, A. A., & Potter, K. W. (2003). Evaluation of hydrologic benefits of infiltration based urban storm water management. Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 39(1), 2015-2015. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2003.tb01572.x

Laino, G. (2017). Le città, i migranti e la questione della cittadinanza. In G. Pasqui (ed.), Secondo rapporto alle città. Le agende urbane delle città italiane (pp. 229-244). Bologna, IT: Il Mulino.

Lindholm, O., & Balmér, P. (1978). Pollution in storm runoff and combined sewer overflows. In P. R. Helliwell (ed.), Proceedings of the 1st Int. Conference on Urban Storm Drainage, Southampton, Great Britain (pp. 575- 585). New York, US: A Halsted Press book, John Wiley & Sons.

Mangangka, I. R., Liu, A., Egodawatta, P., & Goonetilleke, A. (2015). Performance characterisation of a stormwater treatment bioretention basin. Journal of environmental management, 150, 173-178. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.11.007

McCuen, R. H., Wong, S. L., & Rawls, W. J. (1984). Estimating urban time of concentration. Journal of hydraulic Engineering, 110(7), 887-904

Miles, S., & Paddison, R. (2005). Introduction: The rise and rise of culture-led urban regeneration. Urban Studies, 42(5-6), 833-839. doi: 10.1080/00420980500107508

Miller, J. D., Kim, H., Kjeldsen, T. R., Packman, J., Grebby, S., & Dearden, R. (2014). Assessing the impact of urbanization on storm runoff in a peri-urban catchment using historical change in impervious cover. Journal of Hydrology, 515, 59-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.04.011

Moccia, F. D. (2012). Urbanistica: interpretazioni e processi di cambiamento. Napoli, IT: Clean.

Moccia, F.D., & Sgobbo, A. (2013). Flood hazard: planning approach to risk mitigation. WIT Transactions on the Built Environment, 134, 89-99. doi:10.2495/SAFE130091

Moccia, F.D., & Sgobbo, A. (2016). Flood hazard: planning approach to risk mitigation and periphery rehabilitation. In: S. Syngellakis. (ed.), Management of Natural Disaster, (pp. 129-144). Southampton, UK: WIT Press. doi: 10.2495/978-1-84566-229-5/012

Moccia, F.D., & Sgobbo, A. (2016). Resilienza urbana e pluvial flooding: lo studio predittivo del comportamento idraulico urbano / Urban Resilience and pluvial flooding:the predictive study of the urban hydraulic behavior. In V. D’Ambrosio & M.F. Leone (eds.), Progettazione ambientale per l’adattamento al Climate Change. Modelli innovativi per la produzione di conoscenza / Environmental Design for Climate Change adaptation. Innovative models for the production of knowledge (pp. 136-145). Napoli, IT: Clean.

Moccia, F.D., & Sgobbo, A. (2017). Città Metropolitana di Napoli. In F.D. Moccia & G. De Luca (eds.), Pianificare le città metropolitane in Italia. Interpretazioni, approcci, prospettive (pp. 289-326). Roma: INU Edizioni.

Mohajeri, N., Gudmundsson, A., & Scartezzini, J. L. (2015, September). Expansion and densification of cities: Linking urban form to urban ecology. In International Conference on Future Buildings & Districts Sustainability from Nano to Urban Scale, Lausanne, CH (pp. 9-11).

Munafò, M., Assennato, F., Congedo, L., Luti, T., Marinosci, I., Monti, G., ... & Marchetti, M. (2015). Il consumo di suolo in Italia-Edizione 2015. Roma, IT: ISPRA.

Næss, P., & Vogel, N. (2012). Sustainable urban development and the multi-level transition perspective. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 4, 36-50. doi: 10.1016/j.eist.2012.07.001

Novotny, V., & Chester, G. (1981). Handbook of nonpoint pollution: sources and management. New York, US: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co.

Oberndorfer, E., Lundholm, J., Bass, B., Coffman, R. R., Doshi, H., Dunnett, N., ... & Rowe, B. (2007). Green roofs as urban ecosystems: ecological structures, functions, and services. BioScience, 57(10), 823-833. doi: 10.1641/B571005

Papiri, S. (2000, May). Gli scaricatori di piena nelle fognature miste alla luce dei risultati di una simulazione continua quali-quantitativa delle acque meteoriche nel bacino urbano sperimentale di Cascina Scala (Pavia). In Atti della II Conferenza Nazionale sul Drenaggio Urbano (pp. 10-12).

Ragab, R., Rosier, P., Dixon, A., Bromley, J., & Cooper, J. D. (2003). Experimental study of water fluxes in a residential area: 2. Road infiltration, runoff and evaporation. Hydrological Processes, 17(12), 2423-2437.

Roberts, P., Sykes, H., & Granger, R. (Eds.), (2016). Urban regeneration. Newcastle, UK: Sage.

Russo, M. (2014). Urbanistica senza crescita. Urbanistica per una diversa crescita. Progettare il territorio contemporaneo. Una discussione della Società italiana degli urbanisti (pp. XV-XXX). Roma, IT: Donzelli Editore.

Russo, M. (2015). Multiscalarità. Dimensioni e spazi della contemporaneità. Archivio di Studi Urbani e Regionali, 113, 5-22.

Sachs, W. (2001). Equità, sostenibilità e nuovi modelli di ricchezza. Archivio di Studi Urbani e Regionali, 71-72.

Salinas Rodriguez, C. N., Ashley, R., Gersonius, B., Rijke, J., Pathirana, A., & Zevenbergen, C. (2014). Incorporation and application of resilience in the context of water-sensitive urban design: linking European and Australian perspectives. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, 1(2), 173-186. doi: 10.1002/wat2.1017

Salvati, L. (2016). The ‘Sprawl Divide’: Comparing models of urban dispersion in mono-centric and polycentric Mediterranean cities. European Urban and Regional Studies, 23(3), 338-354. doi: 10.1177/0969776413512843

Scharenbroch, B. C., Morgenroth, J., & Maule, B. (2016). Tree species suitability to bioswales and impact on the urban water budget. Journal of environmental quality, 45(1), 199-206. doi:10.2134/jeq2015.01.0060

Seiler, A. (2001). Ecological effects of roads: a review. Uppsala, SE: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Sgobbo, A. (2014). Le politiche di leva fiscale per la sicurezza e sostenibilità della città. Urbanistica Informazioni, 255, 100-101.

Sgobbo, A. (2016). La città che si sgretola: nelle politiche urbane ed economiche le risorse per un’efficace manutenzione. BDC. Bollettino Del Centro Calza Bini, 16(1), 155-175. doi: 10.6092/2284-4732/4121

Sgobbo, A. (2016). Mixed Results in the Early Experience of a Place-based European Union Former Program Implemented in Campania. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 223, 225-230. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2016.05.354

Sgobbo, A. (2016). Recycling, waste management and urban vegetable gardens. WIT Transactions on Ecology and The Environment, 202, 61-72. doi:10.2495/WM160071

Sgobbo, A. (2017). Eco-social innovation for efficient urban metabolisms. TECHNE Journal of Technology for Architecture and Environment, 14, 335-342. doi: 10.13128/Techne-20812

Sgobbo, A. (2018). The Value of Water: an Opportunity for the Eco-Social Regeneration of Mediterranean Metropolitan Areas. In F. Calabrò, L. Della Spina, C. Bevilacqua (Eds), New Metropolitan Perspectives. Local Knowledge and Innovation Dynamics Towards Territory Attractiveness Through the Implementation of Horizon/E2020/Agenda2030. vol 2 (pp. 505-512). Cham, CH: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-92102-0_53

Sgobbo, A. (2018). Water Sensitive Urban Planning. Approach and opportunities in Mediterranean metropolitan areas. Rome, IT: INU Edizioni.

Sgobbo, A., & Moccia, F. D. (2016). Synergetic Temporary Use for the Enhancement of Historic Centers: The Pilot Project for the Naples Waterfront. TECHNE Journal of Technology for Architecture and Environment, 12, 253-260. doi:10.13128/Techne-19360

Smith, C., & Levermore, G. (2008). Designing urban spaces and buildings to improve sustainability and quality of life in a warmer world. Energy policy, 36(12), 4558-4562. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2008.09.011

Stander, E. K., Borst, M., O’Connor, T. P., & Rowe, A. A. (2010, May). The effects of rain garden size on hydrologic performance. In World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2010: Challenges of Change (pp. 3018-3027).

Strecker, E. W., Quigley, M. M., Urbonas, B. R., Jones, J. E., & Clary, J. K. (2001). Determining urban storm water BMP effectiveness. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 127(3), 144-149.

Tira, M., Giannouli, I., Sgobbo, A., Brescia, C., Cervigni, C., Carollo, L., & Tourkolia, C. (2017). INTENSSS PA: a Systematic Approach For INspiring Training ENergy-Spatial Socioeconomic Sustainability To Public Authorities. UPLanD – Journal of Urban Planning, Landscape & environmental Design, 2(2), 65-84

Tira, M., Sgobbo, A., Cervigni, C., & Carollo, L. (2017). INTENSSS PA: pianificazione territoriale integrata alla sostenibilità energetica e socio-economica. Urbanistica Informazioni, 272(S.I.), 319-323.

Tong, S. (1990). Roadside dusts and soils contamination in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Journal of Environmental Management, 14(1), 107-113. doi: 10.1007/BF02394024

Travis, Q. B., & Mays, L. W. (2008). Optimizing retention basin networks. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 134(5), 432-439.

Van Mechelen, C., Dutoit, T., & Hermy, M. (2014). Mediterranean open habitat vegetation offers great potential for extensive green roof design. Landscape and Urban Planning, 121, 81-91. doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2013.09.010

VanWoert, N. D., Rowe, D. B., Andresen, J. A., Rugh, C. L., Fernandez, R. T., & Xiao, L. (2005). Green roof stormwater retention. Journal of environmental quality, 34(3), 1036-1044. doi:10.2134/jeq2004.0364

Vaze, J., & Chiew, F.H.S. (2002). Experimental study of pollutant accumulation on an urban road surface. Urban Water, 4, 379-389. doi: 10.1016/S1462-0758(02)00027-4

Wong, N. H., Chen, Y., Ong, C. L., & Sia, A. (2003). Investigation of thermal benefits of rooftop garden in the tropical environment. Building and environment, 38(2), 261-270. doi: 10.1016/S0360-1323(02)00066-5

Wong, T. H. (2006). Water sensitive urban design-the journey thus far. Australian Journal of Water Resources, 10(3), 213-222. doi: 10.1080/13241583.2006.11465296

Yang, H., Dick, W. A., McCoy, E. L., Phelan, P. L., & Grewal, P. S. (2013). Field evaluation of a new biphasic rain garden for stormwater flow management and pollutant removal. Ecological engineering, 54, 22-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2013.01.005

Zaghloul, N. A. (1981). SWMM model and level of discretization. Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 107(11), 1535-1545.

Zhou, Q., Mikkelsen, P. S., Halsnæs, K., & Arnbjerg-Nielsen, K. (2012). Framework for economic pluvial flood risk assessment considering climate change effects and adaptation benefits. Journal of Hydrology, 414, 539-549. doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2011.11.031

Zimmermann, B., Elsenbeer, H., & De Moraes, J. M. (2006). The influence of land-use changes on soil hydraulic properties: implications for runoff generation. Forest ecology and management, 222(1), 29-38. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2005.10.070