OOS 84-6
Participation and visualization approaches to stakeholder involvement in sea level change and stormwater planning and design: Issues, examples and initial lessons learned

Friday, August 14, 2015: 9:50 AM
315, Baltimore Convention Center
Victoria Chanse, Plant Science and Landsacpe Architecture, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Translating large-scale climate change and stormwater modeling to identifying impacts of and potential solutions to sea level rise and stormwater problems at the city, neighborhood and shoreline scales remains challenging for a multitude of reasons (NOAA 2010; Schroth et al. 2009; National Research Council, 2008). Neighborhood concerns tend to differ from regulatory priorities. For example, resident issues related to sea level rise and stormwater may include concerns over the loss of favorite places, flooding, and trash. In contrast, regulatory priorities may focus more on hazard planning and managing quantities of specific pollutants.

One aspect to developing successful responses to local sea level rise and stormwater is to first engage stakeholders in identifying and prioritizing concerns and issues and then to incorporate ecological dimensions into local adaptation and design responses. This presentation addresses the questions of 1) how to engage stakeholders in sea level rise and stormwater planning, 2) the different roles of graphic representation and other visual forms of communication in stakeholder involvement, and 3) identifying which approaches incorporate different complex dimensions (ecological performance, resiliency, water quality) into creative design and planning solutions. In order to answer these questions, this presentation introduces and discusses two participatory design case studies that involved landscape architecture students from the University of Maryland. 


Results and lessons learned from these projects demonstrate implications for engaging communities around these issues that are complex due to their social and ecological dimensions. Specifically, these implications include the need to 1) develop specific types of visual communication approaches in order to engage cross-disciplinary and cross-collaboration with and among stakeholders in order to a) identify and prioritize specific locations and issues of concern and b) to examine a wide array of solutions; 2) explore projected impacts and solutions at a range of time frames and scales; and 3) develop and demonstrate a clear rationale for planning and design decisions.


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Services Center. 2010. Hazard and Resiliency Planning—Perceived Benefits and Barriers Among Land Use Planners: Final Research Report 26 April 2010.

National Research Council, Water Science and Technology Board on Federal Stormwater Program. (2008). Urban Stormwater Management in the United States. Committee on Reducing Stormwater Discharge Contributions to Water Pollution. The National Academies Press, Washington DC.

Schroth, Olaf, Ellen Pond, Sara Muir-Owen, Cam Campbell, and S.R.J. Sheppard. 2009. Tools for the understanding of spatio-temporal climate scenarios in local planning. National Science Foundation SNSF Bern: Swiss.