Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems: Themes of Public Perception—A Case Study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Climate adaptation measures address the challenges that densification and climate change impose on the urban environment. Sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS) constructs include the introduction of natural elements, such as riparian buffers, vegetative filters, rain beds, water spills, watermark filters, retainers and dams, and are an integral part of these climate adaptation measures. SUDS are commonly undertaken at a municipal level in Norway but, unfortunately, the implementation of SUDS projects has lagged behind expectation. Norway is a normative and egalitarian society, where public resistance to local projects is a factor in the delayed adoption of SUDS. That is why a greater understanding of public perceptions and priorities is needed to build consensus and support for these climate adaptation measures. This research looked at the Blaklibekken SUDS case study in Trondheim, Norway. A cross-section of interviews with the municipality and users was undertaken to establish themes within local perceptions of the project. Themes of environmental benefit, child-related activities, maintenance of the site and funding were established to provide a better understanding of public expectations and what aspects of the project correlated with public acceptance or resistance. This work provides a starting point for further research to establish public ‘themes of interest’ that can provide decision makers greater insight into public priorities.