Our cities, towns and communities are moving into a complex era defined by a mixture of certainties and uncertainties around climate change, and community expectations for urban form and environment. Has Pandora’s box been opened, or in our urban environments can stormwater be the fashionable ‘new black’?
Stormwater management has always played a major part in the design of our towns. Yet in many cases ‘stormwater’ has been seen as a nuisance or even a hazard to be controlled and expelled as quickly as possible. But this has already begun to change and the change is gaining pace.
Our communities are demanding appropriate responses to cultural, recreational, movement and residential needs. Increasingly there is a blurring of the lines between engineers, planners and designers. Could this mean a corresponding comprehensive rethink for stormwater management?
Smart and Resilient towns are looking to new ways to address the twin challenges of managing more frequent extreme rainfall events while minimizing impacts on downstream water quality and urban amenity. As one of our greatest future assets stormwater and its management infrastructure, through a collaborative and integrated response will be a key part of the design of our high and low density urban subdivisions, parks, and movement opportunities. Not to forget the integration of these things with one another.
This paper presents a challenge to stormwater asset managers as critical future guardians of both a water resource and our urban environments. Using examples from Tauranga, and a ‘live’ project from the iconic coastal settlement of Raglan, Nick, and Surya will show how an integrated outcome based approach will help protect what may in coming years be our most valuable resource – water, while at the same time delivering high amenity urban environments and delivering a typically ‘kiwi’ way of life into the decades to come.