- Opening of covered/buried watercourses (rivers, drainage systems) by removing concrete layers.

- Reason for culverting watercourses: need of space for buildings, parking lots, roads.

- Negative effects of culverting: degradation of habitats, pollution, flood risk.

- Daylighting leads to more space for the water; increased storage capacity of the channel.

- Daylighting results in a natural development of the riverbed and riparian zone.

- Storm water benefits/management; environmental, aesthetic co-benefits - positive effects: flood risk reduction, amenity value/recreation, habitat quality.

- Difference between “natural restoration” and “architectural restoration”.

- Natural restoration refers to the daylighting of channels and a natural development of the riverbed and riparian zone.

- Architectural restoration describes the daylighting of the channel that still follows a concrete/ constructed channel (less near-natural than channels of the first type).


Evapotranspiration 1 1
Shading none none
Reflection (Albedo) none
Water Conveyance 1
Water Infiltration 1
Water Retention 1
Water Storage none
Water Reuse none
Water Filtering 1
Water Bio-remediation 1
Deposition none
Bio-filtration none
Habitat Provision 2
Connectivity 1
Beauty / Appearance 2
Usability / Functionality 1
Social Interaction 1
Role of Nature / Mode of Action: 
- Daylighting allows the natural development of a water channel that fulfils services of a natural water channel/river e.g. habitat for wildlife and aquatic life and plants; regulation/uptake of storm water runoff. - Natural channels enables the water to flow to/expand to its riversides; natural vegetation contributes to slow down the water velocity.
Technical & Design Parameters: 
- Different designs are possible depending on the intention/planned project. - Options: Removing whole culverted structure, parts of it (top layer) or making gabs. - A natural restoration is associated with greater effort than only removing the top layer of a watercourse and receiving the constructed channel; the riparian zone gets a natural shape with plants, rocks and a dynamic water channel shaped by nature.
Conditions for Implementation: 
- Restriction/limited possibilities in highly dense and build-up areas because of high cost for shifting of infrastructure/removing of infrastructure. - Enough space to deculvert the watercourse. - Certain channel width. - Need to assimilate knowledge about soil types under/surrounding the channel to guarantee the performance of the daylighting measure.
Benefits & Limitations: 
Benefits: - Storm water management; - Benefits for aquatic organism (light plays important role for population movement); - Benefits for flora and fauna frequenting the banks/habitat provision for flora and fauna; - Improving physical habitat conditions of the watercourse, habitat niches; - Natural bank development/profile; creating natural watercourses; - Enables natural processes (erosion; deposition); - Aesthetic value; human recreation; - Educational resource; Potential limitations/disservices: - Architectural restoration is less near-natural than the natural restoration. As a result the development and establishment of flora and fauna is limited.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 730052 Topic: SCC-2-2016-2017: Smart Cities and Communities Nature based solutions