WATER SENSITIVE URBAN DEVELOPMENT IN THE CATCHMENT OF POTOK ORUŃSKI IN GDAŃSK, POLAND
client: research project, Weihenstephan University of Applied Sciences
typology: sustainable urban development, landscape planning, water and energy strategies, green-blue infrastructure
location: Gdańsk, Poland
design: Urszula Cryer
The city of Gdańsk has grown to be a vibrant business and technological centre on the map of Poland, hence it is attracting many new inhabitants. Therefore there is a lot of pressure on developing new land into residential areas and most of the time it takes the form of urban sprawl. Sealing the vast surfaces of land in the hilly area above the city centre reduced the land's capacity to infiltrate rainwater and despite the existence of a stormwater management system, causes occasional flooding. This project explores the possibility of implementing the integrated green-blue infrastructure system in the catchment of Potok Oruński (Orunia Stream) and its capacity to retain water and protect the city from drought and flooding.
The analysis of the catchment area unveiled a number of problems in the area, as well as existence of valuable landscape zones, protection of which became the base for the development of the masterplan. Long regulated and straightened sections of the stream were found to be without much ecological value. To minimize their contribution to summer flash floods it needs widening and remeandering along readily available open spaces. On the other hand several naturally formed ponds and wetlands were designated for environmental recreational zones with wild character, requiring minimum maintenance. Furthermore the project proposes densification of existing and planned developments on one side and limiting the urban sprawl on the other. In this way it protects existing ecological corridors and their water infiltration capability. Moreover it strengthens various landscape characters and provides recreational functions. Additionally a detailed design of a water sensitive neighbourhood integrated with the recreational areas was undertaken to provide holistic solutions on three levels: stream catchment, neighbourhood and buildings.
The results show, that it is possible to manage urban water more sustainably, making the city safer, more resilient to climate change and more livable for its residents as well as wildlife.