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Activating ‘Water Sensitive Urban Design’ (WSUD) for healthy resilient communities: Survey and workshops


WSUD is an alternative to conventional forms of urban development. It uses natural soil and plant processes to manage stormwater, promote water re-use and enhance urban liveability and human wellbeing. WSUD has also been called Low Impact Urban (LIUD or LID) or Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDs). Or Water Sensitive Urban Design(WSUD).

New Zealand may be the best place in the world for “Water Sensitive Urban Design” – many areas have a temperate climate with frequent rain and year-round plant growth, and passing storm water through plants and soil (not piping it straight to streams) aligns with kaitiaki values. WSUD has been used in New Zealand for more than 10 years, but there are significant barriers to its widespread adoption.

Please participate in a 5-question survey and/or workshops to identify the barriers to WSUD. The survey and workshop will help people at the ‘flax roots’ by identifying:

  • Quick wins that we will aim to address in this research,
  • Myth-busting exchanges, where we all share existing knowledge,
  • Longer term research needs that we can prioritise and plan as a collective.

The survey and workshops are funded by The Building Better Homes Towns and Cities National Science Challenge. The research team is a collaboration between:

Robyn Simcock, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research,

Jonathan Moores, NIWA

Sue Ira, Koru Environmental Consultants

Chris Batstone, Batstone Associates

Websites: https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/science/living/cities,-settlements-and-communities/water-sensitive-urban-design