Mainstreaming Nature-Based Solutions Series May 2023

Shifting the conversation from theory to application

Series Overview – 4 lunchtime webinars

Our society continues to adapt to innovations in technology, long-established patterns disrupted by climate change, and our desire to make healthier lifestyle choices, amongst other factors.

Our infrastructure, at all scales, needs to evolve to take advantage of these changes, and the broad range of built environment stakeholders all have a vital role to play in shaping these new landscapes and driving this transition.

Why employ nature-based solutions?

  • Improves climatic resilience in the face of increased risk of flooding and extreme temperature
  • Increases biodiversity
  • Creates more sustainable and climate-adaptive urban neighbourhoods through the allocation of space to natural landscaping

These techniques, working with the prevailing geography, can minimise environmental impact, and sensitively applied will strengthen the best qualities of a locality, enhancing amenity and popularity.

Series Aim

This webinar series is designed to provide a whole life narrative and decision-making framework for the many parties involved in the process. Structured on a universal design and delivery process it will walk through the process and provide a guide on how to identify and respond to conditions as a project typically proceeds, identifying those stakeholders and project disciplines that should be involved at each stage.

This webinar series builds on previous webinars and training sessions organised by the Local Authority Waters Programme, the Department of Local Government and Heritage in partnership with the professional bodies, local authorities and the private sector and aims to further develop best practice in the application of nature-based solutions to address surface water management problems and deliver multiple benefits.

Series Objectives

The series will draw different interests over the four sessions, with some participants present for all four. However, there is a shifting emphasis in terms of skill, discipline and relationships as a typical project progresses through the design stages.

After the series, the participants should have gained:

  • An understanding of the value and benefits of Nature Based Urban Infrastructure Design & Delivery
  • An overview of how to appraise site conditions to determine options and concepts
  • Insight into key considerations when developing a concept which is then used for consent and statutory assessment purposes
  • An appreciation of the prevailing Statutory processes and design stages in terms of design detail, content and documentation
  • Insight into examples of employing these techniques into the design of engineering projects
  • Logging and documenting the process for ongoing operation, management, and knowledge sharing
  • Networking and forging supply chain relationships

Upcoming webinars

Webinar 1: Projects from Concept to Planning Stage – Thursday, 4 May

Chair, Conor Galvin, Office of Public Works

Background: Fran Igoe, Local Authority Waters Programme

  • Speaker 1: Achieving Water Framework Directive Objectives through Integrated Catchment Management and Nature-Based Solutions: River Santry Case Study, John Stack, Dublin City Council
  • Speaker 2: Dublin City Council, Greening Strategies,  integration of  nature-based SUDS, and co-benefits. Peter Leonard, Dublin City Council
  • Speaker 3. Adoption of nature-based solutions in the Urban Periphery – local roads and transition zones. Seán Fitzsimons. Clandillon Civil Consulting
  • Speaker 4: Delivering benefits with Nature-based solutions by managing risk of sewer flooding. Michael Goss, Uisce Éireann

Webinar 2: Projects at Detailed Design Stage – Thursday, 11 May

Chair. Finola O’Driscoll, National Transport Authority

  • Speaker 1: Integrating nature-based solutions into Social housing. Padraig O’Gorman, Carlow County Council
  • Speaker 2: Moving from hard engineers solutions to a nature based approach (bioretention) to managing surface water on a primary road in a rural town. N74 TII Project. Alan Costello and Aidan O’Connell, Mott MacDonald
  • Speaker 3: Building nature-based solutions into an active travel project in Glenageary. Conor Geraghty, DLRCC

Webinar 3: Projects at Construction Stage – Thursday, 18 May

Chair. Stephen O’Malley, Civic Engineers

  • Speaker 1: Rainscapes. Anthony McCloy, McCloys Consulting
  • Speaker 2: In practice – learnings from the UK. Meristem Design | Habib Khan
  • Speaker 3: Retro Fitting the Urban Environment for SUDS. Pilot Project – The North East Inner City Greening Strategy. Gareth Toolan, Dublin City Council
  • Speaker 4: Moving from an eye-sore with surface water management issues using nature-based solutions – a simple example for Local Authorities. Padraig O’Gorman, Carlow County Council

Webinar 4: Maintenance and Lessons Learnt – Thursday, 25 May

Chair. Adrian Conway*, ex Dublin City Council

Next steps: Averil Gannon, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

  • Speaker 1: Emerging considerations on the adoption from NBS. An example from the N4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin, Sligo. Seán Fitzsimons. Clandillon Civil Consulting
  • Speaker 2: Maintenance considerations from the Cardiff experience. Some top tips! Ian Titherington, Senior Policy Adviser – Sustainable Drainage, Welsh Government.
  • Speaker 3: Plants and landscaping. What, where and when. Isla Jackson, Civic Engineers

*Lead author on – Nature-based Solutions to the Management of Rainwater and Surface Water Runoff in Urban Areas – Best Practice Interim Guidance Document (

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