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Water Sci Technol. 2015;71(2):245-51. doi: 10.2166/wst.2014.484.

Smart SUDS: recognising the multiple-benefit potential of sustainable surface water management systems.

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Urban Water Technology Centre, School of Science, Engineering and Technology, University of Abertay, Dundee DD1 1HG, Scotland, UK E-mail:
Urban Drainage Specialist, Dundee, Scotland, UK.


How can we make sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) smart? SUDS help us to manage surface water runoff from urban environments but they are capable of delivering much more. This paper looks beyond the water quantity and quality improvement functions of SUDS and investigates the multiple benefits that can be gained by implementing smart SUDS solutions. This work provides a new perspective, using methodologies not normally associated with SUDS research, to determine multiple benefits. The outputs of the work can potentially assist decision-makers, designer and planners in recognising the potential for multiple benefits that can be delivered by SUDS. The ecosystem services (ES) associated with a large redevelopment in Dundee, Scotland, UK, are identified and a public perception study together with public participatory geographical information system (PPGIS) methods was used to confirm the goods and benefits of the SUDS. The paper presents findings on the public perception of SUDS as they provide cultural benefits such as recreation, aesthetics and biodiversity. The results show that greenspace is important when choosing a location, and willingness to pay for greenspace is high in this area. This paper concludes that SUDS provide multi-functional benefits in relation to the ES, thereby justifying the cachet of being termed Smart SUDS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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