Sustainable management of urban waters, Espoo (FIN) 1-9 April 2016

Short scope

The scope of the project is to develop sustainable management of urban waters. The students will plan and design stormwater management in a small catchment scale for an urban existing area. The plans will include both the management of catchment scale hydrology as well as more detailed designs for individual water retention, infiltration and conveyance systems.


  • Hydrology
  • Water quality
  • Built environment
  • Landscape


  • Best stormwater management practices
  • Hydrological modelling
  • Sustainable design practices

Research focus site will be in Espoo or Helsinki.

Longer introduction



Stormwater generated in urban areas can have a significant impact on the nearby waters. More than 80% of Finns live in urban areas, so urban water issues affect the most of us. Sustainable management of urban waters reduces occurence of floods, erosion and environmental loading. It also increases formation of groundwater. In addition to reducing environmental loading sound management of water sustains healthy, comfortable, and functional city environments. Good management of urban waters requires consideration of techno-economic, ecological and social issues and it must be based on research information from the local climatic conditions.


Compared to natural areas, built areas have a significant fraction of impervious surfaces and thus a fast draining system. This leads to hydrological changes in built areas: the volume of surface runoff and peak flow increase and rain events have flashier response in the receiving stream. The larger and faster variations in flow result in decreased stability of channels and increased level of erosion. The changes are manifested through shifts in infiltration, filtering, storage capacity, detention and evapotranspiration of water.

Water quality

In Finland more than 90% of the urban drainage systems are separate sewer systems where stormwater is conveyed without any treatment directly to the nearest receiving water body. As a consequence, pollutants originating from urban surfaces (traffic areas, roofs) are also flushed with stormwater to the nearby waters. Typical pollutants found in stormwater include suspended solids, nutrients, heavy metals, oil, and bacteria.


Date: 1st of April – 9th of April

Aalto is hosting the course in cooperation with the research groups: Water Engineering (Civil and Environmental Engineering) in Aalto University School of Engineering and Clean Technologies (Forest Products Technology) in Aalto University School of Chemical Technologies.