On 29 October 2015, Water Sensitive SA hosted a collective of more than 60 planners, engineers, landscape architects and environmental managers to explore Pathways to Water Sensitive Communities through planning. The forum participants were clear in their message that the inclusion of performance based criteria for water sensitive urban design within the planning system was essential to facilitate our transition to resilient, liveable, water sensitive communities.
The importance of quality green infrastructure and green spaces, sustained by best practice water sensitive urban design, to deliver clean streams and coastlines, for management of flood waters and urban cooling were common themes throughout the forum was a common theme. The challenge presented by the increasing imperviousness of the Greater Adelaide region area was, without a doubt, the most pressing issue raised at the forum. The need for innovation in the design of infill development was top of mind for participants and the proposed urban design code under the new Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill 2015 was seen as an excellent mechanism to set benchmarks for practice.
89% of surveyed participants (n=37) support the establishment of performance based WSUD targets through the planning system
62% of surveyed participants support a Ministerial Development Plan Amendment to embed WSUD performance targets in the planning system
53% of surveyed participants identified the proposed urban design code under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill 2015 as a suitable pathway to embed WSUD in planning
62% of surveyed participants identified an offset schemed as suitable tool, for situations when the WSUD performance targets cannot be met on site.
Water Sensitive SA will continue to work with government and industry to develop the tools needed to underpin the SA WSUD policy within the planning framework. To get involved and share your thoughts on smarter urban design to support the transition to a water sensitive city contact Mellissa Bradley.
For a copy of the presentations from the forum visit the Water Sensitive SA website.
Video footage of the presentations will soon be available on the Water Sensitive SA Youtube channel.