Water-sensitive Urban Design and Planning

July 02, 2017

Water-sensitive urban design and planning (WSUDP) integrates the urban watercycle, water supply, wastewater, storm-water and groundwater management with spatial and urban design. This approach contributes to sustainability and livability, particularly when considered part of an overall urban strategy.

This guide to WSUDP aims to assist practitioners involved in sectors related towater management as well as urban designing and planning. Its purpose is to explore possible innovations spanning areas of alternative approach of water management and show how it can be applied in cities while taking up existing opportunities to use it for increasing cities’ amenities and quality of life. It also describes how to develop a specific WSUDP strategy for a new development as per site conditions.

For upcoming development, appropriate methods and strategies under WSUDP are provided according to the scale of urban planning, i.e. city / zonal, neighbourhood / institutional and individual scale. Water-sensitive planning principles are showcased first according to different land uses and water intensive activities in cities / zones. The focus moves to water-sensitive urban designs and then individual-level designs.

Overall social, economic and environmental impacts of WSUDP are also discussed in this guide. The application of water-sensitive practices, with economic analyses and feasibility according to the respective land uses,are highlighted. The importance of operation and maintenance, along with stakeholder involvement which provides the base for implementation of WSUDP measures, is also discussed.

The approach of this guide is aligned with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, which include clean water, sanitation and sustainable cities, with community involvement, as major priorities. It is supported by international best management practices along with feasibility studies for WSUDP in India. It intends to assist practitioners manage available local water resources in a sustainable way by integrating it into the planning and designing of cities.