Low Impact Development (LID) Demystified for Designers
Low Impact Development (LID) stormwater strategies are crucial for urban design around the world. Certainly, where rain occurs regularly and especially where sudden high peak flow rates can flood cities, intelligently applied LID can mitigate a large portion of the problem. Climate change made rain events extremely difficult to predict for climatologists and hydrological engineers and therefore we need to be prepared to deal with excessive rainwater in increasing denser impervious cities around the world. But this needs to occur already in the concept design phase to provide the space to apply LID at site scale. Many functioning LID system examples exist in Europe, North America, Australia, Asia and New Zealand to mitigate storm water but in most cases, they are still an afterthought in planning, urban and architectural design instead of guiding urban and building proposals. Indeed, stormwater management should be the first thought for planning, landscape, urban and building design. Landscape architects are equipped not only with a holistic understanding and reading of a site at various scale and its systems, they also have the knowledge of the other perimeters needed to implement LID, climate, soil, site condition and including context. For this reason, designers and permitting municipalities need user-friendly tools to “dimension” LID tools such as retention/detention areas, bio-swales, living (green) roofs at site and urban scale prior new building and urban design proposals and retrofits. This presentation will demonstrate an internationally usable and user-friendly tool called Holistic Stormwater Management Application (HSMA) currently developed by greenskins lab at the University of British Columbia.