Conference September 29 & 30 2011 in Copenhagen
Water in Urban Areas and Planning Law
Coping with water in urban areas is a major concern in many parts of the world – not least as a consequence of more extreme climate conditions, including heavy rainfall. For decades urban water management has focused on sanitary matters and this is together with drainage and flood control today still the point of departure for urban water management. At the same time water in urban areas may provide important aesthetic, ecological, and recreational functions.
The question is how and to what extent the legal framework – including planning law – is able to cope with such challenges or whether there is a need to reconsider the existing legal framework. This case aims to provide an understanding of the main ways of regulating water in urban areas and in particular the (potential) role of planning law in this respect. A key issue is to what extent climate adaptation, flood control, sanitary issues etc. is a relevant concern in planning law. The case study will focus on two core issues: 1) The main legislation for regulating the physical state of surface water bodies – and the linkages to planning law, and 2) The main legislation for flood prevention due to heavy rainfalls – and the linkages to planning law.
Please answer the following questions:
1. What are the main legal mechanisms for regulating the physical state of surface water bodies (e.g. lakes, rivers and watercourses)
1.1 Does any physical alteration of surface water bodies need a permit and if so who is the relevant authority?
1.2 To what extent may the physical alteration of surface water bodies be regulated in a land use plan?
1.3 How is the maintenance of rivers etc. regulated and what is the relevant level of authority?
1.4 Are there any mechanisms to ensure co-ordination between upstream and downstream authorities?
2. What are the main legal mechanisms for flood prevention due to heavy rainfalls?
2.1 To what extent are the legal mechanisms linked to land use plans, e.g. local /development plans?
2.2 Is it possible to set up requirements for on-site stormwater runoff in local/development plans with binding effect on individual landowners, e.g. planning provisions on “green roofs”, land cover a.o. mechanisms?
2.3 To what extent may (sewage) water charges be reduced as a result of on-site stormwater runoff initiatives?
Copenhagen, Helle Tegner Anker, June 2011
To see responses from individual countries, click the links below: