WSUD Opportunity Mapping

Council is institutionalising a process which is normally undertaken in an and ad-hoc manner to deliver on ambitious water targets.

The City of Port Phillip Council in Melbourne has an overarching water strategy that sets a direction for water management in the City. The plan is based on the vision of a ‘water sensitive city’ and provides a roadmap by which Council can achieve this goal.

Council’s vision for a water sensitive city is encapsulated in the concept of ‘city as a catchment,’ where all water sources, including stormwater and treated wastewater, are viewed as valuable, important and interconnected. A key component of the Water Plan is the targeted implementation of water sensitive urban design within streetscapes and drainage that , among other things, delivers improved ecological and liveability outcomes.

In the tight urban fabric of an inner city local government area, the primary limiting factor for streetscape WSUD is spatial availability. To guide the strategic and efficient implementation of the Water plan , a concept was developed to use remote sensing capable of identifying WSUD opportunities in a strategic and uniform way. The concept involved  developing  a Geographical Information System (GIS) query tool capable of identifying  spatial opportunities for water sensitive urban design across the entire Port Phillip municipality and using it as a basis upon which to building council’s WSUD program.

The City engaged Storm Consulting (Storm) to develop a Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) Opportunities Map derived from council’s spatial datasets, desktop research and field-based data collection and analysis. The project involved the development of an assessment framework and a pilot assessment of WSUD Opportunities in the Bay Street Activity Centre (the study area) in Port Melbourne.

When phase two is complete this framework will enable Council to assess opportunities across the entire local government area (LGA).  A GIS map has been developed which shows opportunities for various WSUD elements to be integrated into the streetscape in the study area.  A replicable methodology has also been documented so as to allow council to apply the methodology and deliver a GIS map for the entire City.

Council is attempting to institutionalise a process which is normally undertaken in a more reactive and ad-hoc manner in a real attempt to deliver on ambitious targets, as set out in the ‘Water Plan 2010’.