Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Experimenting Transition to Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems – Identifying Constraints and Unintended Processes in a Tropical Highly Urbanized Watershed

Version 1 : Received: 26 November 2020 / Approved: 27 November 2020 / Online: 27 November 2020 (09:02:24 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Chapa, F.; Pérez, M.; Hack, J. Experimenting Transition to Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems—Identifying Constraints and Unintended Processes in a Tropical Highly Urbanized Watershed. Water 2020, 12, 3554. Chapa, F.; Pérez, M.; Hack, J. Experimenting Transition to Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems—Identifying Constraints and Unintended Processes in a Tropical Highly Urbanized Watershed. Water 2020, 12, 3554.

Journal reference: Water 2020, 12, 3554
DOI: 10.3390/w12123554

Abstract

Green Infrastructure promotes the use of natural functions and processes as potential solutions to reduce negative effects derived from anthropocentric interventions such as urbanization. In cities of Latin America, for example, the need for more nature-sound infrastructure is evident due to its degree of urbanization and degradation of ecosystems, as well as the alteration of the local water cycle. In this study, an experimental approach for implementation of a prototype is presented. The experiment took place in a highly urbanized watershed located in the Metropolitan Area of Costa Rica. Initially, understanding the characteristics of the study area at different scales was achieved by applying the Urban Water System Transition Framework to identify the existing level of development of the urban water infrastructure, and potential future stages. Subsequently, preferences related to spatial locations and technologies were identified from different local decision-makers. Those insights were adopted to identify a potential area for implementation of the prototype. The experiment consisted on an adaptation of the local sewer to act as a temporal reservoir to reduce the effects derived from rapid generation of stormwater runoff. Unexpected events, not considered initially in the design, are reported in this study as a means to identify necessary adaptations of the methodology. Our study shows from an experimental learning-experience that the relation between different actors advocating for such technologies influences the implementation and operation of non-conventional technologies. Furthermore, the perception of security associated to green spaces was found as a key driver to increase the willingness of residents to modify their urban environments. In consequence, those aspects should be carefully considered as factors of designs of engineering elements when they are related to complex socio-ecological urban systems.

Subject Areas

Urban Drainage Systems; Sustainable Stormwater Management; Costa Rica; Place-based research; Transition Stages

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