Københavns Universitet
Uafhængig af ledelsen

PhD thesis defense

Anna Aslaug Lund defends her thesis, "ROOM FOR RAIN"

PhD thesis defense — Anna Aslaug Lund, IGN


Date & Time:

Festauditoriet, Bülowsvej 17, Frederiksberg

Hosted by:
Section for Landscape Architecture and Planning, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management


Anna Aslaug Lund defends her thesis,

ROOM FOR RAIN – the city as a garden and the future of streets

Professor Ellen Marie Braae, IGN
Professor Marina Bergen Jensen, IGN
Landscape architect, Uffe Wainø, GPA
Architect and Chief Executive Officer, Kristian Hagemann, GPA
Landscape architect, Brunella Vejbæk, GPA
Hydraulic engineer and Director of Climate Adaptation & Landscape Christian Nyerup Nielsen, Rambøll

Assessment Committee:
Professor Carola Wingren, Swedish University of Agricultural Science
Professor Martin Prominski, Leibniz Universität, Hannover
Associate Professor Bettina Lamm, (chair), IGN

The PhD thesis ROOM FOR RAIN studies how the design of urban streets may be able to simultaneously mitigate the effects of stormwater events, enhance the perceived sensuous and social qualities of streetscapes, as well as support natural ecologies in the city.
One of the most critical global challenges at the moment is the changing climate of our planet. As a consequence of climate change, we will experience a higher frequency of heavy rain events in the very near future in areas like Europe and North America. Accordingly, in order to mitigate these negative effects of climate change the design of our cities needs to respond to the changed weather patterns. One of the larger challenges of these climate mitigation strategies will be to transport the stormwater to green areas and water bodies, where the water is less damaging. The urban street-fabric comprises an obvious tissue for transporting and delaying the stormwater, and therefore a large number of existing streets in dense urban settings will undergo significant and important changes in the coming years. These changes will inevitably affect the use of streets and their role as infrastructures and everyday urban public spaces in the city. However, concurrently, the future retrofitting of streets also comprises a unique opportunity for unfolding the potential of the everyday street as a liveable urban space that supports natural ecologies in the city. For many years streets have been neglected as urban spaces despite the fact that these are the public spaces that we are in most contact within our everyday life. The streets are the real lived public spaces of the city, where we fleetingly pass by a stranger or bump into an old friend. At the same time, the streets also encompass an important potential for supporting natural ecologies as they cover a large percentage of the total land area of cities and furthermore form urban corridors through which natural systems may spread and evolve.
With point of departure in Copenhagen Cloudburst Plan, the scope of the PhD thesis has been to critically construct a conceptual model along with spatial principles that can inform retrofitting processes in existing streets in dense urban settings in relation to an increased frequency of stormwater events. The PhD thesis, therefore, synthesizes knowledge about landscape-based stormwater management, urban nature and liveable streets. The study revolves around the idea that landscape-form and city-form could be united into a coherent thinking.
The study offers an analytical and a design-oriented perspective on the possible potentials and implications of the landscape-based stormwater management in dense urban streetscapes. The findings of the PhD thesis point towards that landscape-based stormwater management both entails an important potential for upgrading the urban streets as sensuous and social spaces; however, the method simultaneously comprises quite dramatic spatial implications for the street profile. This underlines the importance of a conscious and well-considered approach to the sensuous and social consequences and potentials related to the implementation of landscape-based stormwater management in streets.

The thesis is available for inspection at the PhD administration office 04.1.413 at Øster Voldgade 10