Journal of Hydrology | 2021
Planning London’s green spaces in an integrated water management approach to enhance future resilience in urban stormwater control
Abstract Vegetation, as a fundamental element of urban green infrastructure, plays a vital role in mitigating urban flooding. Green infrastructure performance in mitigating floods depends on plant responses to meteorological forcing. This puts urban green infrastructure in risk under a changing climate. In this study, the resilience and efficiency of London’s green infrastructure under climate change is evaluated. The coupled water and carbon dynamics were evaluated using a mechanistic ecohydrological model forced with the new generation of 2018 UK Climate Projections (UKCP18). It was found that despite overall reductions of runoff production in London under climate change in winter/autumn, current urban green infrastructure in London can lose its efficiency due to the elevated levels of plant water stress unless it operates in an integrated manner with the traditional grey infrastructure drainage system. Plant water stress induced mostly by changes in climate is expected to limit vegetation performance during the end of growing seasons. The negative effects of varying climatic factors on vegetation dynamics can only be partially alleviated by the positive effects of the elevated CO2 concentration level, and are highly uncertain due to the large uncertainty of climate projections.