Green infrastructures for urban water system: Balance between cities and nature

Robert Sitzenfrei, Manfred Kleidorfer, Peter M. Bach, Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Urban water systems face severe challenges such as urbanisation, population growth and climate change. Traditional technical solutions, i.e., pipe-based, grey infrastructure, have a single purpose and are proven to be unsustainable compared to multi-purpose nature-based solutions. Green Infrastructure encompasses on-site stormwater management practices, which, in contrast to the centralised grey infrastructure, are often decentralised. Technologies such as green roofs, walls, trees, infiltration trenches, wetlands, rainwater harvesting and permeable pavements exhibit multi-functionality. They are capable of reducing stormwater runoff, retaining stormwater in the landscape, preserving the natural water balance, enhancing local climate resilience and also delivering ecological, social and community services. Creating multi-functional, multiple-benefit systems, however, also warrants multidisciplinary approaches involving landscape architects, urban planners, engineers and more to successfully create a balance between cities and nature. This Special Issue aims to bridge this multidisciplinary research gap by collecting recent challenges and opportunities from on-site systems up to the watershed scale.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1456
Number of pages4
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Ecosystem services
  • Environmental benefits
  • Performance assessment
  • Water policy

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