Incorporate residents in flood-proof urban development

Blue Planner is a startup team with the goal of addressing flood prevention in highly endangered urban areas around the globe.

We are offering a collaborative platform for community engagement that brings awareness to flood management solutions using gamification. Residents can redesign their own neighborhood by adding blue green infrastructure. They will learn how their changes helps reduce flooding in their community for various simulated scenarios.

In our short video, we will introduce you to our vision. Afterward, you can read more about how we envision increasing awareness of climate adaptation techniques and sustainability.

Around the world, we are starting to see the effects of climate change in the form of rising sea levels and extreme weather events, such as cloud bursts, happening more frequently. Studies indicate that flooding could cause more than 32 billion USD in annual damages in 2051 (First Street Foundation, 2021). That’s an increase of 50% compared to the numbers today. However, considering the significant flood-risk caused by sea-level rise, new ideas for making areas more sustainable, livable, and flood-proof are essential for the future development of communities around the globe. 

Flood Map, Gowanus Area (Source: NYC Flood Hazard Mapper)

Our beachhead market is the Gowanus area in New York. As you can see from this flood risk map, the area is highly vulnerable to flooding. The area is of high interest, since it is about to undergo a transition from an industrial area into a livable, modern and sustainable neighborhood. For this transition there is a focus on listening to the community, which must live with the consequences of flood issues. And this is where we come in.

Our platform enables citizens to redesign their neighborhoods through pre-defined blue-green infrastructure targeting flood mitigation. Blue Planner provides a virtual copy of the target neighborhood. The user is able to make changes by adding and removing modular infrastructure. Various infrastructure has different effects on a community’s livability, economy, and flood risk. In this way, users must optimize the balance between these aspects of the community.

The users will be able to simulate various flooding scenarios such as cloudbursts of different intensities and see where flooding occurs. They then attempt to mitigate this flooding by changing their design. Blue-green infrastructure serves as a valuable tool in this effort.

Once satisfied with their solution, the users can upload their design to our online platform. All users can then vote for their favorite designs. The top-rated solutions are then rewarded and invited to special events. The residents will be able to discuss their solutions and compare them with the city council’s and urban developers’ solutions.

Using this gamification approach, users are incentivized to learn about flooding solutions, and valuable data on community preferences is collected.

We want to raise the residents’ awareness of flood risks and urban planning to become a key driver in the transition to more livable and flood-proof urban neighborhoods.

Crowdsourcing urban flooding solutions towards climate change adaptation by leveraging the resident’s potential by supplying a comprehensive planning tool, enabling them to create sustainable urban areas.

Meet us
Meet Blue Planner! We are a multicultural team of five master’s students studying at DTU in Copenhagen. Our multidisciplinary background ranging from business, economics, and supply chain to urban city planning, represents a real asset by providing various ways of thinking, and skills to tackle this complex issue.

Our challenge came from Ramboll, a global architecture, engineering, and consultancy company. They tasked other teams worldwide and us to participate in the Next Generation Water Action Initiative to find a solution.

We are still at the beginning of our challenging entrepreneurial journey and open to external support. If you are interested in pursuing the development to a more sustainable world together with us, please feel free to contact us!

Stefanie Bausch
Lasse Stoklund Nilsson
Suellen Ferro
Marcus Craig
Weijun Huang