The research is being conducted in the framework of the Center for Water Sensitive Cities in Israel, funded by the JNF –Jewish National Fund (200,000 NIS)
Water-Sensitive Planning – WSP – is an approach to sustainable development that was developed in Israel by Carmon and Shamir (1997, 2007, 2010). It integrates management of water resources into urban and regional planning, with special attention to storm water management. It directs planners and engineers to collaborate ab-initio and through all phases of urban planning and design, in order to achieve water-related and ecology-related goals, simultaneously and synergistically with economic and social goals.
Based on the WSP approach, this research develops a tool for assessing the level of goals achievement of implemented projects, which integrate urban stormwater management with landscape design, including assessment of the level of synergy reached by a project. The usefulness of this tool will be demonstrated by means of investigating case studies in Israel, with special attention to the “Lake Park” project in the city of Rishon LeZion.
The assessment tool is designated mainly for use by municipal authorities. It is intended to provide a new platform, which demonstrates the diverse potential benefits offered by WSP projects, in general, and projects of sustainable stormwater management, in particular.
The research is conducted in the framework of the Center for Water Sensitive Cities in Israel, funded by the JNF –Jewish National Fund (175,000 NIS)
Cities increasingly recognize the value of adopting Sustainable Stormwater Management (SSWM) principles and measures. As compared to conventional drainage infrastructure, designed to remove stormwater rapidly from the city, a Sustainable Stormwater Management approach can produce multiple ecological, social and economic benefits. These include contribution to biodiversity, groundwater quality and quantity and attractive urban landscapes, in addition to flood mitigation. International experience has shown that scientific knowledge and technologies need to be complemented by changes in a range of social and administrative factors, in order for a widespread shift to SSWM to occur.
This research uses a single-country case study (Israel) and employs institutional analysis to explore changes among these social and administrative factors. We reviewed Israeli research, documents, plans and professional changes. This was complemented by interviews with professionals in national and regional bodies responsible for drainage and stormwater management, and a workshop with representatives of a dozen municipalities and related consultants.
We found significant development in professional awareness and discourse, followed by some advances in professional standards of work and the regulation system. However, the multi-goal SSWM approach has not been internalized sufficiently by professionals or by regulation. We concluded that the urban and regional planning system is useful as an integrator of spatial planning and SSWM, an integration that is necessary to achieve the potential multiple benefits of SSWM. For authorities interested in such a shift, we recommend working simultaneously on cultural-cognitive changes, transformation of professional standards and alteration of regulations, and as far as possible, using incentives based on identification of relevant interests to encourage the desired changes, and not resort to imposed regulations.