Case studies

Catalogue of case studies

Within the present platform, a large number of NWRM case studies has been identified, and information collected using a common template. Among them, at least one - particular interesting - case study has been selected for each country, and additional descriptive information has been collected. The latter are designated as “in-depth” case studies, and more detailed information on them is available for download. The others are designated as "light" case studies. For a full list of case studies by country in xls format click here.

You can also access the case studies by the following map, via the list hereunder, or by filtering, under the map.

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Conserving important brownfield invertebrate community of regional importance as part of strategic multifunctional green infrastructure. Target species included the brown-banded carder bee (Bombus humilis) (UK Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Species) and Gymnosoma nitens (RDB1) but also a wider set of species. This project used an innovative ecomimicry approach to designing urban green infrastructure for the new development. Ecomimicry involves mimicking the characteristics of local ecosystems, in this case regionally important open mosaic habitat which had formed on the post-industrial brownfield site. Designing green roofs using ecomimicry of key brownfield habitat niches provided a mechanism for conserving the biodiversity, habitat connectivity and ecosystem service provision of the brownfield site post-development. This approach also offered opportunities for local communities to reconnect with nature, and the industrial heritage of the site, promoting engagement, ownership and enjoyment. Novel green roof designs were developed and tested on site and were successful in supporting the regionally important biodiversity associated with the site prior to development. The results are being fed into innovative green infrastructure design that will be rolled out more broadly across the site as wider redevelopment continues. Embedding regional context into green roof design enabled alleviation of location-specific issues caused by urbanisation of the site and allowed restoration of regionally typical and important habitat and ecosystems. It is hoped that such design will enable Barking Riverside site to act as stepping stone habitat (Saura et al., 2014), providing connectivity between key sites that are being conserved and protected in the region
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study: Green Roofs
Sector: Urban
Groundwork London, in partnership with Hammersmith and Fulham Council, received LIFE+ funding for the Climate-Proofing Social Housing Landscapes project in 2013. The project, which came to an end in September 2016, has demonstrated an integrated approach to climate adaptation in urban areas by undertaking a package of affordable, light-engineering climate change adaptation measures based around the retrofitting of blue and green infrastructure (tsee illustrations in herewith file). Alongside this, the project has also featured in-depth community engagement and awareness-raising of climate change adaptation opportunities, as well as training local apprentices and local authority staff in the skills to implement and maintain such measures. These measures have been implemented in three different social housing contexts in West London, within areas characterised by high levels of multiple deprivation including higher exposure to climate-related risks. Ultimately, the project aimed to demonstrate an integrated approach to addressing climate-related and wider socio-economic challenges in vulnerable urban environments.
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study: Green Roofs Permeable surfaces Swales Rain Gardens Infiltration basins
Sector: Urban
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study: Retention Ponds Wetland restoration and management
Sector: Urban Hydro Morphology
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study: Rainwater Harvesting
Sector: Urban
Urban constructions carried out by JVProjektvh which include the removal or sinking of existing curbs, lowering or adjustment of the surface, transfer of storm water from the area of street inlets to decentralized devices, taking apart gutters and street inlets within green areas.
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study: Filter Strips
Sector: Urban
In the framework of the large-scale nature conservation project "Lenzener Elbtalaue", a dyke along the river Elbe (in Germany) has been relocated. This created a new retention area with a diverse floodplain, including alluvial forests, half-open pasture landscapes and other typical habitats of lowland floodplains. With 420 ha it is the biggest application of this type of measure in Germany so far. The project successfully combines flood protection and nature conservation objectives. Since the cutting of the old dyke in 2009, the measure could proof its effectiveness during several high water events.
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study: Floodplain restoration and management Forest riparian buffers Meadows and pastures Channels and rills
Sector: Hydro Morphology Forest Agriculture Urban
Kretinga is located 12 km east of the popular Baltic Sea resort town of Palanga, and about 25 km north of Lithuania's 3rd largest city and principal seaport, Klaipėda. The Stormwater Special Plan developed introduces a new approach towards more sustainable stormwater solution from an environmental perspective. This type of ecologically adapted stormwater investments have been implemented in Lithuania for the first time. If they function as well as predicted and can be disseminated through appropriate channels, there should be good possibilities to introduce similar investments in other Lithuanian towns.
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study: Retention Ponds
Sector: Urban
This case study is located in the city of Geneva, Switzerland. It describes how green roofs have been implemented on the roof of a hospital (0.55 ha) in order to decrease flood risks in urban areas. Indeed, this green roof is designed to retain about 30.25 m3/day water in the soil and plants and prevents it from running off. Compared to a traditionnal roof, the green roof retains about 60% of the water quantity that would run off otherwise. Moreover, green roofs are seen as a good way to recreate habitat in urban areas.
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study: Green Roofs
Sector: Urban
Since 2003 the city of Vienna supports financially the implementation of green roofs with 8-25 € per m². The maximum subsidy can be 2200 €. Until 2010 16000 m² roof were transformed and 150 000 € invested.
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study: Green Roofs
Sector: Urban
The objective is the improvement of the navigation conditions on the Danube between Calarasi and Braila, in Romania, by ensuring the minimum depths of 2.5 m of the fairway recommended by the Danube Commission during the entire year, including the dry season.
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study: Riverbed material renaturalization Filter Strips
Sector: Hydro Morphology Urban
The study is carried out by flow weighted sampling at the inlet and outlet of one infiltration trench in Kungsbacka south of Gothenburg, located under the parking lot of a supermarket. The observations and sampling were conducted during April to June 2012 and the results from five storm events were analyzed.
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study: Infiltration Trenches
Sector: Urban
This scheme is currently under development as part of a large residential scheme at Leidsche Rijn, near Utrecht in the Netherlands. The scheme is ambitious in terms of its water management and extensive use of SuDS. It aims to prevent discharges from the site as far as possible (through storage and infiltration) as well as to reduce inputs of poor-quality water from elsewhere. Management of existing and new water bodies on the site will be integral to the scheme, providing improved ecology and recreational opportunities. The time scale for development was expected to be 15-20 years, but due to the economic crisis the overall timescale has increased. A vertical reedbed test site has already been implemented within the site, which some data are available for, although that forms only part of the overall scheme.
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study: Permeable surfaces Swales Filter Strips Soakaways Detention Basins Retention Ponds Infiltration basins
Sector: Urban
The Körös stream catchment lies in a droughts stricken region of Hungary, it is a heavily modified water body. There are nutrient overload in the stream and in the ground water as well both from point and diffuse sources that are both agricultural and urban. Meanwhile recurring water logging periods cause temporary flood problems for the settlement and the agricultural areas during early spring and in case of torrential rains. The water directorate in order to cope with the situation upgrade of the stream’s water management structures to be able to cope with both water extremes: floods and water shortage. It reconnected former floodplains at the estuary on a 2500 meter section. Also upgraded the sluices to let them able to retain water but cleaned the bottlenecks to facilitate runoff at flood events. At the settlement section of the stream the development targeted to provide the necessary capacity to drain the residential area. Upstream of the settlement retention pond were created to control runoff through the town and store water.
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study: Retention Ponds Floodplain restoration and management
Sector: Urban Hydro Morphology
In 2010, the Nummela Gateway Wetland Park (2ha), Finland was constructed both as water environment mitigation landscapes and as urban park. Monitoring of the Nummela Gateway wetland park over a period of three years shows that constructed wetlands rapidly self-establish, resulting in an increase in biodiversity and the establishment of several ecosystem services (e.g. erosion and flood control, and reduction of pollutants in runoff water). The constructed wetland also provides a range of other benefits including opportunities for recreation and education.
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study: Retention Ponds
Sector: Urban
A rain garden was installed along the verges of a residential road in Nottingham, England. The purpose of the rain garden was to control the rate of runoff and water quality reaching the downstream watercourse (Day Brook).
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study: Rain Gardens
Sector: Urban
Reconstruction of the Lepiku channel that is a part of the drainage system, which starts from the new residential area next to the Tallinn Botanic Garden and includes wetlands, detention ponds, ditches and channels and debouches into Pirita river. The aim was to improve the quality of the storm water that flows into the Pirita river. The river Pirita is a part of Natura 2000 site and flows into the Baltic Sea. The length of the reconstructed channel part is ca 195 m and the works included: widening of channel bottom in different segments, creating artificial dykes and rapids and creating suitable conditions to the aquatic plants exhibits in Botanic Garden.
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study: Channels and rills
Sector: Urban
River restoration and flood management measures were implemented on the River Quaggy in London. The measures were necessary due to increasing urban development in the river valley and natural flood plain, with an associated increase in fluvial flooding. A suite of measures was implemented between 1990 and 2005, including de-culverting a reach of river and creating associated floodplain; building a detention basin; set-back flood defences; channel re-profiling. This scheme took a catchment-scale view in order to develop the best solution, and worked with a multi-disciplinary team as well as having extensive community involvement.
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study: Floodplain restoration and management Re-meandering Detention Basins
Sector: Hydro Morphology Urban
This case study is located in Switzerland, in the city of Chênes Bourgerie. It presents one of the natural water retention measures that can be implemented in urban areas to reduce runoff and flood risks. A retention pond is implemented on a plot to retain about 450m3 of water, which contribute to retain water at the watershed scale (279m3 for 3,1ha). The pond also provides a "natural" area which can be used as recreative area for neighboring private owners and contributes to reduce mosquitos density.
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study: Retention Ponds
Sector: Urban
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study: Permeable surfaces Swales Filter Strips Detention Basins Retention Ponds
Sector: Urban
A series of experiments, created by University of Helsinki, Fifth Dimension – Green Roofs in Urban Areas -research program. The green roofs are constructed in nine towns of Finland. The aim is to study green roofs from the perspectives of biodiversity and ecological, social and economical sustainability. The special case study to analyse the costs and benefits related to green roofs were carried out for Helsinki in 2013.
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study: Green Roofs
Sector: Urban
Water retention spaces, reforestation and grazing management in southern Portugal. The ecovillage of Tamera is a community of 190 permanent residents (and more than 100 non-permanent inhabitants) living in a property in the South of Portugal (Monte do Cerro, municipality of Odemira). The application designed and implemented in this location consists of the creation of “Water Retention Landscapes” by means of the following measures: reforestation and the planting of mixed-culture ground cover vegetation; holistic grazing management; keyline design; terracing; swales; and the most well-know measure, the construction of water retention spaces in the form of decentralized lakes and ponds.
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study: Targeted planting for 'catching' precipitation Land use conversion Continuous cover forestry Crop rotation Traditional terracing Basins and ponds Lake restoration Swales
Sector: Forest Agriculture Hydro Morphology Urban