Supporting Solution:

The WSUD Hub

A Water Sensitive Urban Design Online Learning Centre.

  • progress:

Commence development 2017


In every state we were told by a diverse cross-section of people that if you want healthier green space that requires less maintenance funding, cools streets and improves overall plant health, then you need to ensure that plants and trees are adequately irrigated.

The consensus among Tour participants was that the widespread adoption of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) principles and techniques would vastly improve green space and overcome a range of barriers including perceived risk, the urban heat island effect, maintenance expenses and poor soil quality.

Many councils, developers and landscapers are already doing it – but there are many parts to learn about and few are introducing all of the principals. The real problem is that best-practice techniques, case studies, examples and experts are not always easy to access.

So, we need to create an online catalogue of best-practice WSUD principles and techniques to share the knowledge.


We ask the 202020 Vision community to upload examples of how WSUD principles and techniques have been applied at regional, council, project and street levels, and describe the outcomes of these applications.

We analyse the most popular examples and transform these into workshops that we can take to councils and regions that may otherwise not have access to this type of information. We will need to coordinate the projects to ensure consistency and Australia-wide relevance and coverage.

Many existing 202020 Vision Projects already incorporate WSUD principles, so part of this solution would be to represent this information in a way that makes it more interactive and facilitates knowledge-sharing.


  • Provides council staff, designers and practioners with ‘proof of concept’ for new designs.
  • Shares knowledge and expertise to help save time and money.
  • Promotes new thought and design practice.
  • Highlights, rewards and encourages innovative practices.


Permeable pavements to keep water where it falls, Tree pits providing deep roots and secure trees, Rain gardens purifying stormwater and reducing run-off, Passive irrigation — Tanderrum Way, Broadmeadows, Roll-over kerbs.


"Water is a fundamental prerequisite for healthy urban green space. As temperatures and evaporation rates increase with climate change, more water will be required in the future to sustain urban green space. WSUD can reduce reliance on potable water for irrigation purposes and is thus a key strategy in climate adaptation. The idea of the ‘WSUD Online Learning Centre’ is an excellent one. While there are a number of research bodies, innovative councils, consultants, and private developers promoting WSUD, the uptake remains rather limited and patchy throughout Australia. Through this initiative, the sharing of diverse case studies and experiences will not only help promote greater awareness and understanding of WSUD, but could also help to fill important knowledge gaps regarding ongoing performance, operation and management."

Guy Barnett, CSIRO, ACT.

"Now that Water Sensitive Urban Design is being put into practice in so many projects and programs across Australia, it’s time to “flush out” the great examples, refresh the best practices and share the outcomes. WSUD is a broad concept with so many applications. Design guidelines have become daunting. I see a focus of the national “WSUD Hub” on engaging, interactive resources to help project managers transform streets, roads and car parks from single purpose impervious transport routes into cooler, greener and cleaner multipurpose urban corridors for liveable Australian cities."

Lyndal Plant, University of Queensland, QLD.

"To enhance 202020 Vision outcomes I would strongly recommend that there were Registered Horticulturists on the 202020 review team [for the WSUD Hub]. Most issues relate to plant selection and soil science – areas where landscape architects have limited expertise."

Arno King, Horticulturalist / Landscape Architect, QLD.

"Pooling WSUD technical design and how-to examples into a best practice and innovation hub with Australian scenarios would be a useful program. In particular a resource specific to NSW is necessary as WSUD uptake is still relatively limited in this state. There remains the gap of actual training and experience for those who implement the works on the ground. In some Local Councils’ in particular, the engineers and outdoor staff who would build, plant and maintain WSUD projects have limited experience in these types of projects and they can fail as a result of incorrect delivery or lack of ongoing or effective maintenance. A subsidised training program/certification for on-the-ground staff would further support the theory provided by a WSUD hub, and help to embed WSUD as the norm."

Jen Guice, Penrith City Council, NSW.

"[The] City of Melbourne and State Government of Victoria are in the process of developing an Urban Water website, due for release June 2015, which will be a similar project, but at this stage is just focused within the City of Melbourne."

Julie Francis, City of Melbourne, VIC.

"The City of Melbourne is currently already putting together a Victorian-based platform that identifies and shares best practice water sensitive urban design, so there is potential to collaborate and make this a national resource, to make it useful to South Australians – who should we talk to about collating examples?"

Stephen Packer, Environment Protection Officer, EPA, SA.

"The City of Melbourne has been active in many of the topics that 202020 have canvassed in the national workshops. We are pleased that there is an interest in seeing strategies akin to Melbourne’s Urban Forest Strategy expanded to other locations. We are already active in sharing advice with a number of other municipalities. We plan to launch an Urban Water website in the coming months, which will start to address the issue identified in 202020 workshops about a lack of information about water sensitive urban design projects. This website will provide information for a general and technical audience on a range of projects from stormwater harvesting to wetlands to tree pits."

Ian Shears, Manager Urban Landscapes Branch, City of Melbourne, VIC.


Cr Rachel Pemberton, City of Fremantle, WA. D’arcy Hodgkinson, JBA, WA. Ellen Reges, Play Australia, VIC. Natarsha Lamb, CoDesign, PTA, VIC. Lisa Kuiri, UQ, QLD. Jenni Garden, Seed Consulting, SA. Dean Nicolle, SA. Jason Summers, Hume City Council, VIC. Nano Langenheim, University of Melbourne, VIC. Rod Goodburn, EHP, QLD. Tania MacLeod, City of Melbourne, VIC. Sam Phillips, Natural Resources, DEWNR, SA. Julie Francis, City of Melbourne, VIC. Pip Hildebrand, Do it on the Roof, VIC. Helen Papathanasiou, Parramatta City Council, NSW. Jana Suderlund, CUSP, WA. Denise Anderson, Local Gov Ass, NSW. Odile Pouliquen-Young, Curtin Uni, WA. Erin Harrison, EMRC, WA. Amalie Wright, Landscapology, WA. David Taylor, DEPI, VIC. Anna Foley, National Trust, VIC. Cecile Storrie, Garden Network, SA. Brigid Adams, DEPI, VIC. Vic Bijl, City of Belmont, WA. Peter Skinner, UQ School of Architecture, QLD. Cassandra Brown, Gold Coast City Council, QLD. James Worth, Green Star Design, SA. Cr Jon Strachan, City of Fremantle, WA. Julie-Anne McWhinnie, SA Health,SA. Kim Markwell, E2Design Lab, WA. Katherine Rekaris, Katherine Rekaris Landscape Design, VIC. Junya Yu, University of Melbourne, VIC. Robert Prince, NGIA, NSW. Leanne Muffet, Strategic Matters, SA. Karen Sweeney, City of Sydney, NSW. Lotte Hoekstra, AECOM, WA. Lyndal Plant, UQ, QLD. Russell James, TC Advantage, NSW. Steven Wells, Austin Health, VIC. Emily Rigby, Cedar Hill Flowers & Foliage, QLD. Stephen Packer, EPA, SA. Chris Ferreira, Forever Project, WA. Rachel Hornsby, City of Kingston, VIC. Mara Bun, Green Cross, QLD. Jen Guice, Penrith City Council, NSW. Maggie Hine, City of Onkaparinga, Michael Smit, QLD. Ella Gauci-Seddon, Outlines Landscape Architecture, VIC. Kim Markwell, E2Design Lab, QLD. David Matthews, Proteaflora, VIC. Shelley Meagher, Do it on the Roof, VIC. Rob Didcoe, DSR, WA.