Ida D‘ Ottavio
A scene that can be seen, heard or read over and over again: it rains briefly and heavily - much more water than the drains can hold. Within a very short time the canals are full and traffic is paralysed. The 70 or so first-year students in the bachelor's programme in civil engineering were able to deal with such a scenario, projected onto the city centre of Stuttgart, during the preparatory week from 24 to 28 September 2018. During the project introduction, the supervising professors, Dr.-Ing. Peter Baumann and Dr.-Ing. Axel Norkauer, explained the situation in the city centre of Stuttgart. Due to the valley location and the high traffic density during the day, the flow of traffic can be severely impaired during heavy rainfall, especially in the area of critical traffic surfaces such as tunnel-like underpasses. For this task, the students had to work out conceptual considerations for the handling of rainwater at exposed locations of road traffic in Hauptstätterstraße (B 14) with the underpasses at Charlottenplatz and Österreichischer Platz by the end of the preparatory week. The project task was divided into six work phases, including an excursion with the support of Stadtentwässerung Stuttgart. The students researched the following topics: Climate change, classification of rain, heavy rain, hydrology of sealed surfaces, drainage of traffic areas, resilience of traffic routes as well as planning and design of inner-city traffic areas with aspects of traffic control and traffic information. In addition, the waterways at the traffic junctions Charlottenplatz and Österreichischer Platz had to be determined with special focus on the underpasses of the B 14, taking into account the slope and the overall topography. This also included estimating the standing water volume in the underpasses - without discharge into the sewer system - until they were impassable. Until the presentation, the effects of a flooding of the underpasses due to failure or overload of the pumping stations installed there, especially with regard to traffic, had to be assessed and acute as well as preventive measures had to be proposed for better coping with possible disturbances in the scenario under consideration for the areas of (waste) water and traffic. The students were highly motivated and committed to the project. Her summary can be summarised as follows: "I am positively surprised", "It is very valuable to be present during the preparation week", "Everything was top!" and "Good thing, please continue".