Water Resilient Cities - Sustainable Drainage Systems - Policy Seminar and...

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Lamot, Conference & Heritage Centre

Van Beethovenstraat 8-10

2800 Mechelen


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"Improving the ecosystem based capacity of 2Seas stakeholders to climate change and its associated water related effects"

This is a priority for a number of projects in the 2Seas Interreg region such as SPONGE, SCAPE .... and Water Resilient Cities (WRC).

In response to more frequent and more intense heavy rainfall events, institutions and communities are learning to develop and implement new approaches to drainage. The principles apply in both urban and rural areas, in public and private space, and at a range of scales.

Exchange of experience and expertise is crucial to making the most of the added value of territorial cooperation. Hence, WRC, which aims to promote the retrofitting of sustainable drainage systems in cities, is organising two events:

A morning Policy Seminar will bring together experts from current and past projects to identify synergies, and opportunities for extending the scope of their work to provide a more comprehensive policy response to this important priority.

An afternoon meeting will launch WRC’s Innovation Network, presenting innovative case studies to stimulate discussion and knowledge exchange. By bringing together municipalities, water agencies, designers, engineers and product developers WRC aims to facilitate a better understanding of the challenges of adaptation and of the new and innovative approaches available for sustainable drainage.


8:30 Arrival & registration opens with coffee

9:00 Welcome and introduction. Chairperson

9:15 Water Management Policy Context. Marcia van der Vlugt, Program Manager, Incentive Programme Spatial Adaptation to Climate Change at Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, Netherlands

Innovative approaches towards creating Climate Adaptive Cities.

9:35 2Seas Programme speaker. Dries Debruyne - An introduction to the Adaptation to Climate Change Priority:

Increasing the ecosystem-based adaptation capacity to climate change and associated effects (Specific Objective 3.1)

9:50 Projects overview ( 20 mins each):

Water Resilient Cities -Alex Midlen, Low Carbon City Officer, Plymouth City Council

Sponge 2020 – Lynsey Adams, Project Officer, Major Projects & Strategic Transport Policy, Southend on Sea Borough Council

SCAPE - Arne Debruyne, Strategic Coordiantion, Oostende

10.50 Networking Break

11.15 Workshop - Facilitated by Tako Popma.


a) identify synergies between the projects

b) identify gaps in policy that are not tackled by these projects

Group feedback

11.50 Closing summary

12 noon Lunch

13:00 WRC Network afternoon – Introduction to WRC project from Mechelen representative.

13:15 Panel 1: Innovation and Research – What are the newest innovations and research in relation to retrofitting SUDs (10 minutes each)

  1. Speaker from UK – Dr Katherine Hyde, University of Reading
    Recycled water and sustainable green urban drainage systems
  2. Speaker from Belgium – Vincent Wolfs, KU Leuven, Faculty Civil Technique, Department Hydraulics
    Simulating the impact of climate change and SUDs on urban floods

Panel discussion

13.45 Panel 2: Challenges for Policy and Public-Sector Delivery (10 minutes each)

  1. Speaker from Netherlands: Dr. Aline te Linde Twynstra Gudde, Amersfoort
    Implementing Climate Adaptation Strategies at a Regional Level: Governance Challenges
  2. Speaker from Belgium – Koen De Winne – Aquafin (main sewer company of Belgium) – Rain Water Management
  3. Speaker from UK – Chryse Tinsley, Landscape Architect at Leicester City Council
    Making changes in Leicester; a city perspective

Panel discussion

14.30 Break

15.00 Panel 3: Design and Best Practice (10 minutes each)

  1. Speaker from Belgium – Bram Volgels – Hydrologist at VMM (Flanders Environment Agency)
    Rainwater management in Flanders - preparing for the future
  2. Speaker from UK – Sue Illman, Landscape Architect, Illman Young
    SuDs retrofitting - from challenges to best practice
  3. Speaker from France - Elia Desmot, Project Manager on the Territory Picard for ADOPTA, Sustainable Stormwater Management Sustainable and integrated rainwater management: a philosophy and a toolbox of alternative techniques
  4. Speaker from Netherlands - Steven Slabbers, Bosch and Slabbers, Landscape Architects, Middleburg
    Adaptive & Attractive

Panel discussion

16:00 Question time and closing remarks

16:15 Site visits depart

17:30 Return to conference centre for drinks and networking

18:30 Close

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Lamot, Conference & Heritage Centre

Van Beethovenstraat 8-10

2800 Mechelen


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