Shaping Perth as a Water Sensitive City: Outcomes and Perspectives from a participatory process to develop a vision and strategic transition framework

Briony Cathryn Rogers, Katie Hammer, Lara Werbeloff, Christopher John Chesterfield

Research output: Book/ReportOther ReportResearch


Australian cities and towns are grappling with the question of how to use water management as a means of delivering better live ability outcomes and broader benefits in relation to water security, flood risk, biodiversity, public open space, healthy waterways, productive and connected communities. The aspirational concept of the water sensitive city, represents this water management approach and many urban areas around Australia now have an explicit goal of becoming water sensitive. However, initiating and navigating the changes required to achieve this goal is difficult, particularly as existing infrastructure, regulatory and financial frameworks and citizen behaviour typically reinforce and anchor the status quo. Exacerbating these challenges is the difficulty in achieving coordinated and aligned action across multiple organisations, even when there are good intentions or policy aspirations. Targeted and context-specific insight is therefore needed to guide strategic initiatives that will support and enable shifts to more water sensitive practices. This report presents the outcomes and perspectives from a participatory process focused on planning Greater Perth’s transition to a water sensitive city. The process was conducted with leading professionals from across water, planning, community, urban development and other related sectors in Perth. The participants took part in a series of five workshops to collaboratively develop a vision for Greater Perth as a water sensitive city in 2065,guiding principles of practice, and ideas for strategies and actions for transitioning towards the vision. The process was conducted as part of a Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC) project, A4.2 Mapping Water Sensitive City Scenarios, which develops and applies innovative transition planning processes and frameworks indifferent case study contexts.The report’s primary purpose is to showcase the results of this workshop series, which provide targeted guidance fornavigating Perth’s water sensitive city transition. As well as ahigh level orienting vision and strategic transition framework,this guidance includes a range of specific ideas to informthe design and implementation of operational programs of action to accelerate the desired transitional change.The report is designed as a resource for government,industry and community stakeholders interested in steering transitions towards water sensitive cities. Although developed from the Greater Perth context, the insights are relevant for Australian cities and towns more generally.In addition, the report demonstrates the value of engaging with a diverse array of stakeholders in envisioning and transition planning processes, and provides valuable insight into the important ingredients for such processes.These findings will inform future work in this CRCWSC project, which focuses on developing methodological guidance and supporting CRCWSC partners to undertake similar processes with both professional and community participants to facilitate transitions towards increased water sensitivity at local and city scales.The project outputs are summarised in Figure 1. Following this introduction, each Section of the report presents the results in more detail. The report also contains a number of Appendices that provide further detail in relation to the outcomes of the workshop discussions and analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationClayton, Vic. Melbourne
PublisherCRC for Water Sensitive Cities
Number of pages66
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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