Can we really have it all?-Designing multifunctionality with sustainable urban drainage system elements

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Multifunctionality is seen as one of the key benefits delivered by sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS). It has been promoted by both scientific research and practical guidelines. However, interrelations between different benefits are vaguely defined, thus highlighting a lack of knowledge on ways they could be promoted in the actual design process. In this research, multifunctionality has been studied with the help of scenario analysis. Three stormwater scenarios involving different range of SUDS elements have been designed for the case area of Kirstinpuisto in the city of Turku, Finland. Thereafter, the alternative design scenarios have been assessed with four criteria related to multifunctionality (water quantity, water quality, amenity, and biodiversity). The results showed that multifunctionality could be analyzed in the design phase itself, and thus provided knowingly. However, assessing amenity and biodiversity values is more complex and in addition, we still lack proper methods. As the four criteria have mutual interconnections, multifunctionality should be considered during the landscape architectural design, or else we could likely lose some benefits related to multifunctionality. This reinforces emerging understanding that an interdisciplinary approach is needed to combine ecological comprehension together with the system thinking into SUDS design, locating them not as individual elements or as a part of the treatment train, but in connection with wider social ecological framework of urban landscape.


Original languageEnglish
Article number1854
Number of pages20
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Landscape design, Multifunctionality, Stormwater management, Water sensitive urban design (WSUD), BIODIVERSITY, RESILIENCE, water sensitive urban design (WSUD), GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE, ECOSYSTEM SERVICES, CHALLENGES, WATER MANAGEMENT, landscape design, stormwater management, FRAMEWORK, NEIGHBORHOOD, BENEFITS, multifunctionality, VEGETATION

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