Nature Based Solutions - Implementation Models Database

Structures associated to urban networks, Constructed wetlands and built structures for water management

LIFE CERamic Sustainable Urban Drainage System

A short description of the NSB

Funded by the European Commission through the LIFE programme, European project LIFE CERSUDS (Ceramic Sustainable Urban Drainage System) is developing a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) that uses ceramic tiles of low commercial value as a flooring filter system. The main aim of LIFE CERSUDS is to enhance city adaptability to climate change and to foster the use of SUDS and green infrastructure. This is done by designing and implementing a sustainable urban drainage system demonstrator, consisting of a permeable surface whose skin is made up of an innovative system, with low environmental impact. SUDS, which are being increasingly applied worldwide, provide cities with new means and techniques for a sustainable approach to city rainwater management, integrating run-off management in the urban landscape, based on the natural behaviour of the river basin at issue prior to urban development. In example, the demonstrator envisaged for Benicàssim (Spain) involves construction of a sustainable urban drainage system via development of a permeable ceramic flooring, using ceramic tiles of low commercial value. The space foreseen for the demonstrator consists of a street section with light and pedestrian traffic in an established urban setting of about 3.000sqm. Furthermore, during CERSUDS project development, two pre-projects will also be carried out: one in the Aveiro region (Portugal) and the other in the Fiorano region (Italy), countries with ceramic clusters and climate problems similar to those of Spain. These projects will be evaluated by both municipalities in order to foster the system’s feasibility.

NBS Implementation context
Location Benicàssim (Spain), Aveiro (Portugal) and Fiorano (Italy)
Status (from - to) Ongoing (01.10.2016 – 30.09.2019)
NBS Scale Object (Flooring surface)
NBS Impacts scale • Object (Flooring surface) • Neighbourhood • City
Urban density/ Soil consumption • High (dense city center, etc.) • Medium
NBS Typology

NBS Uban Challenges
Climate Issues Climate mitigation
Climate adaptation
Other 0
Urban water management and quality Urban water management and quality
Flood management
Other 0
Air Quality Air quality at district/city scale
Air quality locally
Other 0
Urban Space and Biodiversity Biodiversity
Urban space design
Urban space management
Other 0
Urban Regeneration and Soil Air quality at district/city scale
Other 0
Resource efficiency Food, energy and water
Raw materials
Other 0
Public health and well-being Acustic
Quality of life
Other 0
Environmental justice and social cohesion Environmental Justice: Recognition
Environmental Justice: Procedural Justice
Environmental Justice: Distributional Justice
Environmental Justice: Capabilities
Environmental Justice: Responsibility
Social Cohesion
Other 0
Urban planning and governance Urban planning and form
Governance in planning
Other 0
People Security Control of crimes
Control of extraordinary events
Other 0
Green economy Circular economy
Bioeconomy activities
Direct economic value of NBS
Other 0
NBS Stakeholders & Governance

The LIFE CERSUDS project partners include the stakeholders needed to achieve the proposed objectives. On the one hand, the consortium comprises: • Instituto de Tecnología Cerámica, CERSUDS Project Coordinator, a Research Centre with experience in applying ceramics in urban development, • Polytechnic University of Valencia, through the Instituto Universitario de Investigación de Ingeniería del Agua y Medio Ambiente (IIAMA), experts in water management and sustainable urban drainage systems, • Benicàssim Municipality in Castellón particularly sensitive to the risks of climate change, • CHM, a construction company with wide experience in its field, clearly oriented towards R&D and innovation, • TRENCADIS de SEMPPRE, a company with a clearly innovative character and environmental sensitivity, • Centro Ceramico Bologna, (Italy), a Centre that has worked for 40 years fostering cooperation between Companies, Territory, and University, • Centro Tecnológico da Cerâmica e do Vidro, Portugal, a Centre for the promotion of innovation and development of technical and technological capabilities of industries and services in the living environment. On the other hand, a Monitoring Committee has also been established of several organisations from the Regional Working Group created in the E2STORMED project (, to enable their experience, needs, and concerns to be incorporated into the definition and monitoring of the CERSUDS project.

Initial actors (Leaders) Governments • Local government/municipality
Involved actors Governments • Local government/municipality, Community • Research institutions, Market • Private sector • Social enterprises / social entrepreneurs
Ecological scale • Local scale green area • City scale green networks
Governance model CLUSTER 5: Network Governance • Collaborative governance
NBS Financial aspects

The European project LIFE CERSUDS (Ceramic Sustainable Urban Drainage System) is funded by the European Commission through the LIFE programme.

Global (estimated) cost of the project -
Financing mechanism CLUSTER 1: Public financing • LIFE – Climate action
NBS Business Models Archetype
Technological -
Social Substitute with renewable and natural processes
Organisational Non applicable
NBS Success and limiting factors
Process enablers
Knowledge Develop scale-up solutions
Governance -
Economy Collaboration • Networks, Information accessibility and sharing • Knowledge platforms
Process inibitors
Knowledge Process efficiencies • Collaboration, Co-creation and participation • Involvement of urban government
Governance Mid-Long term financing
Economy Uncertainty • Operational unknown • Performance unknown
IM Keywords