Water Sensitive SA

Research | Architectural design key to managing urban water flows

Research | Architectural design key to managing urban water flows

2 March 2022

The underutilised role of architects and urban planners needs to be addressed if we are going to tackle the urban water issues facing our communities.

A new paper by researchers from the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities demonstrates how architectural design has a greater influence on urban water flows than the implementation of on-site water servicing technologies. The results have significant implications for sustainable urban water management, in particular for managing the risks associated with pluvial flooding, water insecurity and urban heat.


  • Business-as-usual infill development severely increases stormwater discharge (44%) and imported water (85%).
  • Alternative designs can achieve 141% increase in population density with only 21% increase in stormwater discharge and 64% increase in imported water.
  • Architectural design is, up to 3 times, more influential than water servicing technologies

Read the abstract here. If you are a Water Sensitive Cities Australia partner or participant, the paper is downloadable for free until 19 April 2022.

So, for those of you in any doubt – solutions to the current stormwater challenges associated with infill development fall firmly in the realm of the planning system!

Source: CRC for Water S
Hydrological performance and water mass balance for infill development scenarios. Source: CRC for Water Sensitive Cities


Comments are closed.

Acknowledgement of Country

Water Sensitive SA acknowledges Aboriginal people as the First Peoples and Nations of the lands and waters we live and work upon, and we pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge and respect the deep spiritual connection and the relationship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have to Country.