Water Sensitive Urban Design technology like Porous Paving is all around us! This week the Australian Government body CRC for Water Sensitive Cities released an important document advising how best to achieve planning collaboration and better use of natural resources.
Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) is a term that has gained prominence in the Australian public’s eye. The government of our ‘sunburnt country’ are making great progress following the lead of cutting edge water smart cities such as Singapore the United Kingdom and Germany.
This week, an Australian Government water planning body termed ‘Centres for Cooperative Research’ (CRC) has released an important paper to improve WSUD in Australia.
The report is the latest government advice for Australian local planning bodies on how they must move forward when planning public works, to increase the use of water sensitive technologies such as porous paving and tree surrounds, when building our new cities.
WSUD is all around us
The public understand city planning is necessarily complex and multi-factorial process. New urban development involves long running consultation from multiple authorities such as utilities providers, community, civil and roads authorities, environmental… The list goes on!
For most of us homeowners, such governmental reports can be viewed as remote and irrelevant.
Typically some experience such planning regulations only when a porous driveway is required as part of a development application. Or perhaps you have been required to install non-hard paving surfaces as part of landscaping, remaining within council softscaping requirements.
However water sensitive urban planning has a far greater impact on you than you realize!
However, to demonstrate this point we challenge you to take the below test and name as many of these familiar streetscape WSUD features as possible!
From top left to right these are 1. Grass swale, 2. Rain garden, 3. Rain Garden with ‘curb cut’
4. Constructed wetland, 5. Tree box filter 6. Porous paving Tree pit
7. Porous drainage channel 8. Engineered reparian zone
These subtle features of civil infrastructure are all very important act as water smart storm water run-off technologies. They stop us having care accidents when there is flash flooding by facilitating on site retention by helping the infiltration water cycle so it can naturally soak into ground whilst also acting as effective long term erosion control.
How Collaboration aids WSUD
Based out of Melbourne, The CRC for Water Sensitive Cities released their latest report titled “Designing cross-sectoral collaborations for integrated urban and water planning“. The paper details a somewhat lacklustre current state-of-play in Australia;
Most collaborations between the
urban and water sector in Australia so far have relied
heavily on the perspectives, experiences, knowledge and the goodwill of the people involved to grow and survive
The papers abstract recommends ‘guidance’ toward ‘collaborative governance’ particularly between water utility authorities and urban planners. The methods detailed are ways of better sharing of information on activities, capacities, resources to realize a set of outcomes that would be difficult to achieve separately.
Such government reports are great steps forward for Landscape Architects, Civil Engineers and City Planners when understanding what is currently best practice in their design considerations for new public works.
Its an especially important step forward in endorsing water sensitive urban design building materials such as porous paving, for commercial paving applications and Eco paving alternatives to offset the non porous hardstand surfaces which comprise the majority of our urban environment.
You can download this important WSUD report here. A video below from mid 2020 shows Professor Nigel Tapper of CRC water sensitive cities explains why planting more trees and improving the irrigation are the two best ways to cool our cities.
paving the way of the future
StoneSet has been trusted for over 10 years across Australia with over 50,000 square meters of resin bound stone installed, with iconic projects such as Admiralty House, Port Arthur Prison, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Observatory Hill.
We are proud pioneers of WSUD building materials technology in Australia and look forward to continue working with many great local councils who have been proactive in the space of Water sensitive urban design
Whether you are a homeowner or professional, if you would like to fast track your understanding on the WSUD considerations on your project, Contact Us today and speak with the porous paving experts!