Urban creep in Scotland: stakeholder perceptions, quantification and cost implications of permeable solutions

Grant B. Wright, S. Arthur, G. Bowles, Nicolas Bastien, D. Unwin

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    11 Citations (Scopus)


    The gradual increase in impermeable surface area in urban conurbations has clear consequences for flood risk. This paper details an investigation into the impact of one element of urban creep (hardstanding/paving provision) on flood risk and water quality in Scotland. Following a review of current hardstanding practice, an extensive stakeholder consultation exercise is presented. The outcomes of this consultation clearly highlight that the installation of impermeable hardstanding in Scotland is sufficiently widespread to justify measures to discourage such development. This is confirmed by the results of a residential survey, which indicates that there has been a near quadrupling of the area of impermeable hardstanding in three typical residential areas of Edinburgh. A number of case studies are presented, and it is concluded that, although more costly, permeable hardstanding solutions offer multiple benefits to the urban drainage cycle and should be promoted through legislation, education and incentivisation. Finally, recommendations for future work are detailed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)513-521
    Number of pages9
    JournalWater and Environment Journal
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


    • flood risk
    • hardstanding
    • permeable solutions
    • stakeholders
    • urban creep
    • WATER
    • LIFE

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