Visual Water – An interactive visualization platform 

City, nature and water.

Water related impacts, such as extreme short-term rainfall leading to flood hazards are already causing severe damage in urban built environments and are expected to be further intensified in the near future due to climate change. In cooperation with SMHI, we develops an interactive visualization platform to support cities in sustainably addressing such climate related risks.

To reduce climate impacts, proactive planning of storm water management that includes
alternatives to piped drainage such as green and blue infrastructures is essential. However, moving away from the “pipe-paradigm” and designing alternative storm water solutions implies making stormwatermanagement part of the urban planning practice. This, in turn, calls for an integrated planning processes that better support actors to collaborate on identifying common problems, goals and action alternatives. 

Visualization supporting the planning process

Previous research has shown on the potential of visualization to facilitate learning, planning and communication of complex environmental issues and action alternatives due to its capability to collect and present large amounts of data in a format that is easy to understand. Such instruments can facilitate joint decision-making by stimulating actor engagement,  capacity building and identification of effective management and alternative pathways.

Stakeholder collaboration

The project is carried out with great help from an advisory board as well as a user panel with representatives from Swedish municipalities and county boards, the insurance sector and building industry, The National Knowledge Centre for Climate Adaptation (SMHI) and Swedish Water and Wastewater Association. 
Researchers in Visual WaterThe researchers Carlo Navarra, Erik Glaas, Martin Karlson and Anna Bohman (research leader). Photo: Ingrid Leo

Research Group