Driven by the challenge of adapting cities to climate change, stormwater management is high on the agenda of landscape architectural practice. This article aims to set light on associated landscape changes, presenting and evaluating twenty Northern European stormwater management projects with a specific view on their aesthetic performance. Five key parameters form the base for the analysis. These include 1) terrain changes, 2) construction and maintenance, 3) site history and context, 4) water dynamics and dimensioning, and 5) stormwater accentuation. Observations are illustrated by exemplary photos, arranged and discussed among varying cases. The study indicates that visible stormwater management enhances the experience of local terrain. However, stormwater management is weak as a main design feature and staging water ‘at any cost’ results in unsettled designs. Successful projects include only a few key water features and focus on programmatic interaction within the specific context.
Journal of Landscape Architecture 8:2, 53-61