Professor Maciej Zalewski is the founder and head of the Department of Applied Ecology at the Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection of the University of Lodz and since 2000 he has been the director of the European Regional Center for Ecohydrology of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Lodz. He is the creator of the modern concept of ecohydrology, which is the basis for the “Nature Based Solutions” methodology currently being developed at the United Nations. He is valued as a scientist in Poland and worldwide, he has been cooperating with UNESCO for several years.
His speach at Stormwater Poland 2020 wiil be about Urban Storm Water – necessity for a new paradigm and will open the first session of the conference.
Impermeable surfaces in the cities generate floods, heat island, reduces ground water recharge and high water loss from the city. Furthermore, if green surfaces in the urban landscape are reduced it has a negative influence on citizens’ physical health but also their psychical wellbeing.
Considering that, there is a necessity to change urban stormwater management paradigm. Up till now the mechanistic paradigm which has been dominating urban stormwater management, reduces not only the threats such as floods (not necessarily efficiently), but also opportunities for sustainable future of the city. Because of the complexity of natural phenomenon and interactions between geomorphology, climate, ecosystems and human activities which especially in urban areas are becoming more complex, it is necessary to change the paradigm from mechanistic to evolutionary-ecosystemic. This means that urban catchment should be considered a superorganism, where hydrological pulses have to stimulate biocenosis to generate ecosystem services. The new paradigm should consider every city as a heterotrophic super-ecosystem which is a unique combination of geomorphology, climate, plethora of various forms of human activities, and where water cycle should be considered not only for infrastructure security perspective but also for health and quality of life. This can be considered as a goal for enhancement of city sustainability potential which from ecohydrologic perspective identify 5 parameters to be improved in every management practices, such as Water, Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services, Resilience, Culture and Education, WBSRC.
This approach is based on a new algorithm for methodology of environmental sciences which will be introduced during the conference.