Water Sensitive Urban Design Slakes Thirst for Sustainability



Water Sensitive Design: Integrating Water with Urban Planning

Successive years of flooding and some of the worst droughts in recorded history – which have not only threatened the health and wellbeing of the population but very nearly brought industry grinding to a halt – have prompted the Australian government to think differently about water.

The result has been a huge shift in mindset that has seen Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) enshrined in planning and policy responses to climate change, and an acceptance that tackling flooding and drought doesn’t have to be in isolation to creating liveable cities.


WSUD in the United Kingdom

“A new report, Water Sensitive Urban Design in the UK, reinterprets the WSUD concept for the UK and its conclusions might best be summed up simply as: for too long, we have been designing water out of our cities when we should have been designing it in,” writes Jonathan Nettler, Managing Editor of Planetizen.

“The introduction to the report sets out the challenge we face: ‘Water shortages, flooding and watercourse pollution are all signs of stress where developed areas have a troubled interaction with the natural water cycle and where, conversely, water has become a risk or a nuisance rather than an asset or an opportunity.’

“A survey of built environment professionals conducted as part of the report showed that 83% of respondents believe water management is considered too late in the planning and design process of developments….a fundamental part of a water sensitive city is that we integrate the design of those features into the fabric of our towns and cities as attractive livable landscapes.”


To Learn More:

To download a copy of an article published in the Guardian newspaper in April 2013, click on Water Sensitive Design: Integrating Water with Urban Planning.

To download a copy of the report, click on Water Sensitive Urban Design in the UK



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