Barriers preventing development of integrated stormwater management in Helsinki, Finland

Elisa Lähde, Kajsa Rosqvist

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

102 Downloads (Pure)


In recent years, the development of sustainable urban stormwater management has been much in focus in several cities in Finland due to climate change and new regulations. Urban adaptation to climate change requires solutions that combine underground and aboveground measures and processes. However, the transition towards a water sensitive city, where multifunctional green infrastructure and urban design reinforce water sensitive behavior, is not trouble-free. Various barriers have been identified, such as a lack of knowledge as well as unclear roles and responsibilities among stakeholders. In the city of Helsinki, the present stormwater strategy has currently been updated to an integrated stormwater program. For this purpose, a workshop was organized for civil servants and experts working with storm water issues in different city departments. In the workshop, different measures and solutions required to reach the goals of the new program were discussed in order to define adequate actions. The preliminary goals of the strategy were: 1) the prevention of stormwater related problems, 2) climate-proof local and regional drainage, 3) qualitative and quantitative stormwater management, 4) use of stormwater as a resource in urban environments, and 5) integrated stormwater management within city administration. The workshop discussions revealed that civil servants and experts knew and understood quite well the main goals of the program. However, the participants displayed gaps in other areas of knowledge. There was a lack of knowledge on sustainable drainage components and their variety of delivered ecosystem services. Stormwater management is still comprehended as a technological challenge with the multifunctionality of green infrastructure solutions not being fully utilized in urban design. Several approaches are needed to continue the development of the water-sensitive city in Helsinki, including more real life examples, broader stakeholder involvement outside the building sector, and a critical examination of existing planning procedures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRe-City
Subtitle of host publication(Im)possible cities
EditorsMinna Chudoba, Juho Rajaniemi
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-15-4144-5
ISBN (Print)978-952-15-4143-8
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
Event(Im)Possible Cities: City Regeneration Congress - Linna, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
Duration: 24 Aug 201725 Aug 2017
Conference number: 2


Conference(Im)Possible Cities
Abbreviated titleRE-CITY
Internet address


  • Integrated stormwater management
  • SUDS
  • Urban water management
  • Green infrastructure
  • Water sensitive urban design


Dive into the research topics of 'Barriers preventing development of integrated stormwater management in Helsinki, Finland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this