Urban Participation + Research + Regulation Method (PRRM) to Broadly Implement Green Urban Infrastructure Solutions

Urban Participation + Research + Regulation Method (PRRM) to Broadly Implement Green Urban Infrastructure Solutions

Jon Laurenz Jone Belausteguigoitia Daniel Roehr

Architecture # 137, School of Architecture, the University of the Basque Country, Spain

Lurstudio Koop, Elkarte Txikia, Spain

Greenskinslab, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, The University of British Columbia, Canada

Available online: 
| Citation

© 2022 IIETA. This article is published by IIETA and is licensed under the CC BY 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).



The 2030 Agenda shows the path to achieve the sustainable development goals. in addition, the Inter national Paris Agreement, the IPCC reports on climate change and the recent COP26 in Glasgow urge the international community to decarbonize their economies and move towards carbon neutral countries by 2050. As urban designers, willing to meet these international commitments through our profession, Green Urban Infrastructure Solutions (GUIS) evidence cost-efficient policy tools to respond to climate change. This paper includes the implementation of gUis in two pilot projects in the Basque country. In addition, the environmental benefits derived from such green intervention are analyzed, in terms of climate change adaptation, including the amelioration of stormwater runoff, reduction of urban hot spots and improvement of urban air quality. The paper also highlights the barriers and difficulties encountered when implementing these GUIS into practice. This includes the skepticism about innovative urban solutions and the lack of experience in GUIS. Therefore, the paper proposes an urban participation, research and regulation method in order to overcome current barriers and enhance a broad implementation of GUIS to comply with international commitments.


climate change adaptation urban solutions, environmental benefits, green streets, green urban infrastructure, low impact development, nature based urban solutions, stormwater management, sustainable urban drainage system, urban participation and regulation method, water sensitive urban solutions


[1] World Commission on Environment and Development, Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future, available at https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/5987our-common-future.pdf, 1987 (accessed 9 March 2022).

[2] United Nations, Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, available at https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/21252030%20Agenda%20for%20Sustainable%20Development%20web.pdf, 2015 (accessed 9 March 2022).

[3] T he Paris Agreement, available at https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-parisagreement/the-paris-agreement (accessed 1 May 2021).

[4] COP 26, The Glasgow Climate Pact, 2021, available at https://ukcop26.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/COP26-Presidency-Outcomes-The-Climate-Pact.pdf (accessed 28 December 2021).

[5] IPCC , First Part of the Sixth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis, available at https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sixth-assessment-report-working-group-i/ (accessed 10 August 2021).

[6] E uropean Commission. Review of Progress on Implementation of the EU Green Infrastructure Strategy, available at https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52019DC0236&from=ES (accessed 9 November 2021).

[7] E uropean Commission. Communication from the Commission of the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions; Green Infrastructure (GI)–Enhancing Europe’s Natural Capital: Brussels, Belgium, 2013.

[8] L aurenz, J., Belausteguigoitia, J., de la Fuente, A. & Roehr, D., Green urban (RE) generation: a research and practice methodology to better implement green urban infrastructure solutions. Land, 10, 1376, 2021. DOI: 10.3390/land10121376.

[9] S alleh, N.H.M., Rasidi, N.A.S.A. & Jeevan, J., Lean, agile, resilience and green (LARG) paradigm in supply chain operations: a trial in a seaport system, Australian Journal of Maritime & Ocean Affairs, 12(4), pp. 200–216, 2020. DOI: 10.1080/18366503.2020.1833273.

[10] L aurenz, J., Belausteguigoitia, J. & Roehr, D., Greening the grey: Implementing green urban solutions, as adaptation response to climate change, in a pilot project in Legazpi, Basque Country. WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, 253, pp. 265–276, 2021.

[11] G irling, C., Senbel, M. & Kellett, R., Effects of visualizations and information rich public engagement in planning for energy and emissions. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, 33(2), pp. 140–158, 2016.

[12] S enbel, M. & Church, S., Design empowerment: the limits of accessible visualization neighborhood densification. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 31(4), pp. 423–437, 2011.

[13] S heppard, S., Visualizing Climate Change: A Guide to Visual Communication and Developing Local Solutions. Routledge: London, UK. 2012.

[14] Belausteguigoitia, J., Alonso, I., Chueca, A., Elizegi, A., Hierro, S., Olavarri, L. & Sanz, E., Measuring participation: a comparative study of citizen engagement processes in urban planning. WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, 253, pp. 279–291, 2021. DOI: 10.2495/SC210241.

[15] Roehr, D. & Fassman-Beck, E. Living Roofs in Integrated Urban Water Systems. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group: London, United Kingdom, 2015.

[16] O stendorf, M., Retzlaff, W., Thompson, K., Woolbright, M., Morgan, S. & Celik, S. Stormwater runoff from green retaining wall systems. Cities alive! Ninth Annual Green Roof and Wall Conference. pp. 1–15, 2011, Philadelphia, PA.

[17] Roehr, D., Laurenz, J. & Kong, Y., Green envelopes: contribution of green roofs, green facades, and green streets to reducing stormwater runoff, CO2 emissions, and energy demand in cities. International Low Impact Development Conference, pp. 1–8, 2008.

[18] T he City of Vancouver. Rain City Strategy, available at https://vancouver.ca/homeproperty-development/green-infrastructure-documents-and-policies.aspx (accessed 24 April 2021).

[19] Wu, F., Bankston J., Roehr, D. & Wei, F., Stormwater calculation application for low impact development in the conceptual design phase of urban site development. Journal of Living Architecture, 8(1), pp. 41–64, 2021.

[20] D imoudi, A. & Nicolopoulou, M., Vegetation in urban environment. Microclimatic analysis and benefits. Energy and Buildings, 35, pp. 69–76, 2003.

[21] Rosenzweig, C., Solecki, W. D. & Slosberg R.B., New York City’s Heat Island With Urban Forestry, Living Roofs and Light Surfaces. New York State Energy Research and Development Authority: New York, NY, 2006.

[22] H onjo, T., Sugawara, H., Mikami, T., Narita, K., Kimura, K. & Kuwata, N. Observation of thermal effect of Shinjuku Gyoen Park. AMS Fourth Symposium on the Urban Environment, Norfolk, VA, pp. 84–85, 2002.

[23] Reynolds, J.S., Courtyards. Aesthetic, Social and Thermal Delight. John Wiley & Sons Inc.: New York, NY, 2002.

[24] Ryerson University. The City of Toronto and Ryerson University. Report on the Environmental Benefits and Costs of Green Roof Technology for the City of Toronto, 2005, available at https://web.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/8f39-Reporton-the-Environmental-Benefits-and-Costs-of-Green-Roof-Technology-for-the-Cityof-Toronto-Full-Report.pdf (accessed 5 July 2019).

[25] T he City of Melbourne. https://e2designlab.com.au/blog/i_2017-11-17-city-coolingmitigation-of-the-urban-heat-island-uhi-effect (accessed 30 April 2021).

[26] L aurenz, J., Urban regreeneration: green urban infrastructure as a response to climate change mitigation and adaptation. International Journal of Design & Nature Ecodynamics, 15(1), pp. 33–38, 2020.

[27] Directive 2002/91/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, available at https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32002L0091&from=ES (accessed 28 December 2021).

[28] Directive 2010/31/UE of the European Parliament and of the Council, available at https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32010L0031&from=ES (accessed 28 December 2021).

[29] Directive 2012/27/UE of the European Parliament and of the Council, available at https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32012L0027&from=es (accessed 28 December 2021).

[30] Directive 2018/844 of the European Parliament and of the Council, available at https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32018L0844&from=en (accessed 28 December 2021).

[31] M inisterio de Transportes, Movilidad y Agenda Urbana. Código Técnico de la Edificación, available at https://www.codigotecnico.org/ (accessed 28 December 2021).

[32] Biotope Area Factor (BAF), 1994, Berlin, Germany, available at https://www.berlin.de/sen/uvk/en/nature-and-green/landscape-planning/baf-biotope-area-factor/ (accessed 12 May 2021).

[33] G reenspace Factor, 2001, Malmö, Sweden, available at https://malmo.se/download/18. d8bc6b31373089f7d980008924/1491301018437/greenspacefactor_greenpoints_grabs.pdf (accessed 25 January 2021).

[34] G reen Factor, 2007, Seattle, USA, available at https://www.seattle.gov/sdci/codes/codes-we-enforce-(a-z)/seattle-green-factor (accessed 12 May 2021).

[35] Rezoning Policy for Sustainable Large Developments. Rainwater Management Bulletin, available at https://bylaws.vancouver.ca/bulletin/bulletin-sustainable-large-developments.pdf, 2018 (accessed 24 March 2021).

[36] H örnschemeyer, B., Henrichs, M. & Uhl, M., SWMM-UrbanEVA: A model for the evapotranspiration of urban vegetation. Water, 13, 243, 2021.

[37] G reenskinslab is a research lab of the University of British Columbia which developed the LID application [19].

[38] S chaefer, V., Rudd, H. & Vala, J., Urban Biodiversity. Captus Press: Ontario, Canada, 2004.

[39] M cPherson, E.G., Nowak, D.J., Sacamano, P.L., Prichard, S.E. & Makra, E.M. Chicago’s Evolving Urban Forest: Initial report of the Chicago Urban Forest Climate Project. North-Eastern Forest Experiment Station, pp. 40–41. Radnor, PA, 1993.