Absorbing Insights for Climate Adaptation

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SPONGE2020 Conference

Absorbing Insights for Climate Adaptation.

On 20 September 2018, the SPONGE2020 toolbox was launched, a new digital resource for sustainable water management.

This key international event on climate adaptation focused on the launch of a cross-border toolbox for effective stakeholder engagement and our experience with community participation and co-designing of climate adaptation solutions.


View the 3 minute highlights video of the SPONGE2020 event.

With English subtitles

With Dutch subtitles


Climate Proofing Social Housing Landscapes. By Ben Coles, Groundwork London. Download 121018 SPONGE Ben Coles Groundwork London

Towards a climate proof Agniesebuurt area; A co‐creation approach of climate adaptive measures. By Marc den Ouden, from the Regional Water Authority HHSK. Download 200918 SPONGE Marc Van Ouden Agniesebuurt

Launch of the SPONGE2020 Toolbox. By Wessel Tiessens, SPONGE2020 Project Partner. Download 200918 SPONGE Wessel Tiessens Toolbox launch

SPONGE2020: communications and engagement strategy. Communicating the benefits of SuDS to local stakeholders. By Tom Warren and Annabel John from Copper Consultancy. Download 200918 SPONGE Copper Consultancy Communications

Enabling sustainable cities through green and blue architecture. By Charlotte Markey from GreenBlue Urban. Download 200918 SPONGE GreenBlue Urban SuDS Workshop

Stemming the Flow. By Dusty Gedge, President of the European Federation of Green Roofs. Download 200918 SPONGE Dusty Gedge European Federation of Green Roofs

About the event

About the event

The conference will bring together experts from local authorities, academics, property and water management professionals from across Europe, to share best practice in mobilising communities to support the implementation of urban and rural water management systems. Connecting stakeholders from across the public and private sector, the SPONGE2020 conference and toolbox will showcase sustainable water management solutions that lead to efficient resource management, community empowerment, healthier and attractive spaces and increased biodiversity, whilst also being resilient to the worst effects of climate change.


Featuring case studies from sustainable water projects across the UK and EU, as well as a range of interactive workshops, the day will be an exciting opportunity to gain a better understanding of how to engage stakeholders with the challenges of adaptation and the new and innovative approaches available for sustainable drainage. Download the SPONGE2020 Conference Programme.

Networking and lunch

Refreshments and a locally sourced, sustainable lunch will be served. There will be opportunities for networking throughout the day.

Site visit (optional)

The conference will be followed by a site visit to Basildon University Hospital at 4pm, to view the sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS), retrofitted at the hospital to slow down rain water entering the conventional drainage system. These include rain gardens, which were installed as a result of collaboration between the Hospital Estates Management team and Essex County Council, with the input of patients, clinical staff and visitors. A free shuttle bus will transport guests to the site visit and back to the event venue afterwards.

What to do next

We welcome those with an interest in water management, stakeholder engagement, community liaison, sustainable development, or urban design. Attendance is free but please book your place by clicking the ‘Register Now’ button.

What is SPONGE2020?

SPONGE2020 is an EU funded project that brings together organisations from across Europe to tackle the water-related effects of climate change. Climate change is likely to bring increased risk of surface water flooding, which will need to be managed on a local and community level. Essex County Council and Southend-On-Sea Borough Council are organising this conference as delivery partners for SPONGE2020, an ERDF Interreg 2 Seas Programme running from 2016 to 2020.

Terms & Conditions

This event is being organised by Essex County Council, Southend-On-Sea Borough Council, Muon Events (a sustainable events agency) and the SPONGE2020 partners.

Please be advised that photography and filming may be carried out at the event for use on the SPONGE2020 and Muon Events website, marketing materials, and other publications. By attending this event, you consent to Essex County Council, the SPONGE2020 partners and Muon Events photographing, filming, and using your image and likeness.


Register Now

Thursday September 20 2018
9:30 AM - 3:00 PM BST

Green Centre, Wat Tyler Country Park
Pitsea Mount, Pitsea, Basildon
Essex SS16 4UH
United Kingdom