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Course structure and learning outcomes

An article describing the course structure and presenting the learning outcomes.

Throughout the course you will learn more about stormwater management and how it can be considered when designing for in a changing climate.

In the first week, the course focuses on how urbanization is affecting the natural hydrological cycle, how we can describe observed and expected rainfall, and how climate change will affect rainfall and the hydrological cycle in the future. These conditions provide the background for the design of new or modified urban drainage systems.

The second week of the course first considers the pipe-based drainage systems that have traditionally been used in many cities. There are several downsides to such systems that may be avoided by using greener and more nature-like solutions. The course introduces some common types of green stormwater control measures that can be used, and how these can be implemented in different urban catchments.

Finally, in the third week of the course, we take a wider perspective and consider how stormwater management can be integrated into urban planning. This is especially important for adapting to the consequences of future climate change: many existing drainage systems will no longer be sufficient, and new or modified systems should be designed to work for at least several decades. It is also recognized that flooding cannot be avoided in all cases, such as extreme rainfall events. In that case, urban planning needs to consider what happens when the capacity of drainage systems is exceeded.

Learning outcomes

Some of the things you’ll be able to do during and after this course are:

  • Explain the effect urbanization has on water pathways
  • Describe the effects of climate change on rainfall and urban hydrology
  • Compare different stormwater control measures
  • Explain the contribution of stormwater control measures to urban climate adaption
  • Reflect on the importance of stormwater in the urban planning process


The content is mainly designed for those who have worked with stormwater management and climate change adaption before and who might be expecting to encounter these issues in their work or research. But everyone who has an interest in climate change issues in relation to society and how we can improve for the future will hopefully find the information valuable.

If you are completely new to the topic, we recommend you to take another basic course alongside it if you encounter parts that feel confusing.

We hope that you will enjoy the course and learn something new with us!

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Urban Stormwater Management in a Changing Climate

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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