Water Sensitive SA

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New Planning and Design Code: Will it deliver urban greening and WSUD?

October 2, 2019

More than five years ago the community responded to the Planning Reform Consultation and voiced their concerns about increased hard surfaces and loss of tree canopy. They wanted a cooler, greener city with more walkable streets and places to recreate; healthier waterways, beaches and marine environments; and reduced flood risk. Community gave government the mandate to re-think how our cities and regional communities are developed.

The Planning and Design Code (the Code) is a major avenue to turn these aspirations into reality, setting the policy and performance criteria for new development. Yesterday, Phase Two (Rural Areas) and Phase Three (Urban Areas – metropolitan Adelaide) of the Code were released for public comment. These policies replace existing Council development plans, and the draft Code marks a shift towards greener communities supported by water sensitive urban design. New policy in the Code includes:

  • minimum requirements for soft-landscaped areas
  • vehicle parking areas include landscaped areas, with shade trees, porous surfaces, infiltration systems, drainage swales or raingardens that integrate with these landscaped areas
  • landscaped areas provide minimum deep soil space or soft landscaping to accommodate a tree of a species and size adequate to provide shade, contribute to tree canopy targets and soften the appearance of buildings
  • provision of small, medium or large trees depending on site area
  • incentives for retaining existing trees
  • enhanced use of rainwater through the capture and re-use of stormwater
  • stormwater runoff quality improvements – performance criteria for percentage reductions in stormwater pollutants (total suspended solids, total phosphorus and total nitrogen)
  • peak stormwater runoff flow rates are managed.

Refer to Phase Three (Urban Areas): Part 4 – General Development Policies: Design in Urban Areas pages 2227-2253 for more details on these policies.

Review of green infrastructure and water sensitive urban design policy

Water Sensitive SA¹ has now released the Perspectives on performance-based planning provisions and assessment frameworks for green infrastructure and water sensitive urban design (WSUD) report (PDF).

Read more …

Stay informed

Our Cooler, greener Adelaide What’s new page will keep you informed of our formal response to the Planning and Design Code and other initiatives that support urban greening and water sensitive urban design.

Upcoming events

At our upcoming Cooler, greener Adelaide + the new Planning and Design Code community workshops you will learn how to navigate the Code and understand how the draft policies can support urban greening and smarter water management. Dates and venues to be advised.


¹ In collaboration with the Department for Environment and Water, Department of Planning, Transportation and Infrastructure and our partners

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