Linking urban development and urban drainage models is a more and more popular approach when impacts of pavement of urban areas on sewer system performance are evaluated. As such an approach is a difficult task, this is not a feasible procedure for everyday engineering practice. We propose an alternative method, based on a developed simple near-quadratic relationship, which directly translates change (increase or decrease) of paved area into a change in the return period (RP) of the design rainfall event or design rainfall intensity. This formula is simple to use and compatible with existing design guidelines. A further advantage is that the calculated design RP can also be used to communicate the impact of a change in impervious areas to stakeholders or the public community. The method is developed using a set of 250 virtual and two real-world case studies and hydrodynamic simulations. It is validated on a small catchment for which we compare system performance and redesigned pipe diameters. Of course such a simplification contains different uncertainties. But these uncertainties have to be seen in the context of overall uncertainties when trying to predict city development into the future. Hence it still is a significant advantage compared to today's engineering practice.