With the majority of New Zealand’s population living along the coastal fringe and a large proportion of these located in no more than five urban areas, the risks of stormwater management in coastal cities is an important issue that New Zealand must look to face sooner rather than later. The paper will look globally at what other communities are doing both reactively and now proactively to face the uncertainty associated with climate change, population growth, sea level rise and creating liveable cities in the coastal margins.
Much can be learnt from on-going work overseas across the USA, Europe and Asia-Pacific Regions following on from major events such as Cloudbursts (Copenhagen), Hurricanes (i.e. Katrina, Sandy), Tropical Storms (Nock-ten) as well as other specific catchment approaches to protect communities.
The paper will draw specific examples from recent projects such as New York’s Rebuild by Design Competition, the 100 Resilient Cities Programme, The Copenhagen Cloudburst Management plan and New Orlean’s response to Hurricane Katrina as well identify how decentralized approaches to stormwater management including smaller scale catchment solutions (such as programmes of Water Sensitive Urban Design, Natural Flood Management) can yield multiple benefits for creating places where people want to live and work in harmony with nature.
The author will then draw all of these examples, back down to New Zealand and identify emerging approaches to building resilience across New Zealand’s Coastal Communities and signpost where further effort may be required.