By Martin Zoffmann
Recently, Ramboll, in collaboration with The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP), launched a 'Cloudburst Resiliency Planning Study'. The study provides insight on ways for New York City to advance climate resiliency projects and traditional stormwater solutions to mitigate inland flooding and accommodate future increase in rainfall intensity through integration with ongoing urban planning development.
Based on this insight, Ramboll has now been engaged to take the study a step further and develop a number of pilot projects in the South East Queens catchment area. These pilots will be selected for detailed analysis, hydraulic modelling and conceptual designs.
"This is a very exciting project because it gives us the possibility to flesh out exactly how blue-green infrastructure can function similarly to a traditional stormwater system by retaining and conveying water mainly in the surface,” says Trine Stausgaard Munk, Project Manager, Climate Adaptation and Green Infrastructure, Ramboll Water.
While the first study focused on introducing a masterplanning approach for extreme stormwater management and on the added benefits of implementing blue-green infrastructure, this second study will focus more on the technical development and contextualization of the cloudburst typologies developed in relation with Danish cloudburst projects.
The study focuses on the same catchment area in South East Queens, which has more flooding and sewer backup complaints on record than any other area of the city. In line with the first resiliency study, focus will be on integrated planning and stakeholder involvement throughout the entire project process.
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) initially became interested in Ramboll through the company’s climate work for Copenhagen. It was the combination of the technical hydraulic expertise and the holistic cost-benefit calculations that made New York choose Ramboll to conduct the Cloudburst Resiliency Planning Study, says Alan Cohn, Climate Program Director at the NYCDEP.
“Ramboll not only has the water engineering techniques, but can also factor them and all the other aspects into the big calculation – and simplify it. Cost-effectiveness means not only the amount of savings in terms of avoided property damage but also the extent to which the new green areas will improve residents’ health and quality of life”, Alan Cohn explains.