Sponge City Viersen

 

Water-sensitive urban development as a contribution to climate impact adaptation

In the city of Viersen, a heavy rain analysis indicates an increased risk of flooding in areas of the northern city centre. The Goetersstraße in particular has been shown to have a corresponding risk potential. In terms of climate change adaptation, there is thus a need for planning action. At the same time, this deficit can be seen as an opportunity to develop creative measures that not only reduce the risk of flooding, but also contribute to an attractive redesign of urban and street spaces.

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Ole Jebsen

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+49 241 80-96726

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  Sponge City Oslo Copyright: © Ole Jebsen

In the city of Viersen, a heavy rain analysis indicates an increased risk of flooding in areas of the northern city centre. The Goetersstraße in particular has been shown to have a corresponding risk potential. In terms of climate change adaptation, there is thus a need for planning action. At the same time, this deficit can be seen as an opportunity to develop creative measures that not only reduce the risk of flooding, but also contribute to an attractive redesign of urban and street spaces.

As has already been observed in previous years, the summer of 2023 (in Frankfurt (Main) and Nuremberg, among other places) has also shown that public and private urban spaces in Germany come under pressure in the wake of heavy rain. The existing drainage systems and sewer networks cannot adequately handle the rainfall that occurs, which leads to overflowing and subsequent flooding. Extreme rainfall events thus ruthlessly reveal the vulnerability of urban infrastructures, which for decades have aimed to drain water out of the city as quickly as possible via closed sewers. In order to guarantee the provision of public services, it is therefore an urban planning task to develop concepts and strategies that can treat water decentrally in the city. Instead of the overriding ideal of direct rainwater drainage, the idea of the sponge city principle is to develop measures that absorb, retain and store more rainwater locally. Against the background of blue urban redevelopment, it is particularly important to examine what contribution green spaces and other green infrastructures can make.

The Goetersstraße in Viersen was originally a street that shaped the town and was characterised in particular by its course along the Dorfer Bach in Viersen. This special significance in the context of the historic urban layout can only be guessed at. This is due to urban extensions and overdevelopment, but also to the fact that the local Dorfer Bach is largely canalised and runs under Goetersstraße.

The aim of the project is to redesign Goetersstraße in a water-sensitive way according to the approaches of the sponge city principle. Creative strategies and spatially effective measures are to be developed that illustrate how to deal with water in the city in terms of climate change adaptation. In this context, the historical qualities of the Goetertsstraße, including the Dorfer Bach stream, as well as the adjacent open spaces are to be actively considered. The project is being carried out in cooperation with the city of Viersen. Within the framework of the project, an excursion will be offered in which examples of water-sensitive urban development will be presented.

 

Contact:

Ole Jebsen, Institute for Landscape Architecture

email: ojebsen@la.rwth-aachen.de

First meeting: Di, 17.10.2023, 9:00 – 12:30, Lehrstuhl für Landschaftsarchitektur

Following meetigs: 17.10.23 bis 27.02.24 immer Di, 9:00 bis 12:30 (Ausnahmen werden noch kommuniziert)

Exam dates: Di, 27.02.2024, 9:00