Modular Water Squares (MWS) in Poznan – People- Friendly Solutions for Rainwater Management
Keywords:public space, Poznan, rainwater management, modular water squares, water sensitive urban design
Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD 2005) methods aim to retain, clean and use water in the place of the rain occurrence. The article presents possibilities of the use of rainwater in the city catchment areas in Rataje district in Poznan. The pilot research and project applications covered the area of multi-family modern housing estates which require regeneration of built environment and greenery structures as well as individualization of the public space. A detailed analysis and inventory of impervious and green surfaces in Rataje district made it possible to select the locations for water squares as well as to calculate the capacity of the run-off from the particular catchment areas. In the determined places, model arrangements of MWS-s were prepared, taking into account not only the improvement in small retention capability but also the attractiveness of the MWS-s for the inhabitants. The “research by design” method was used to prepare the alternative arrangements of MWS-s, which were subsequently evaluated with the use of the IDEKWA method in order to compare the key features of good public spaces. The result of the research allowed to present model solutions and select the crucial features of MWS-s meeting the needs of the local residents as well as rainwater management requirements. Modular Water Squares, adjusted to the expected run-off capacity from the particular catchment areas, can efficiently prevent urban flooding. However, the sample solutions must be multiplied in order to achieve the desirable effect of rainwater retention on the scale of the whole city. Simultaneously, MWS-s function as playgrounds and meeting places for inhabitants. Another essential role of the squares is the “edutainment”, which allows to raise the ecological awareness of the future generations.