The interaction of risk allocation and governance arrangements in innovative urban stormwater and recycling projects

Ruth Lane, Yvette Bettini, Tara McCallum, Brian Head

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Successful innovation requires the management of perceived and actual risks. The quest for water security in large cities has led to consideration of alternative water sources, which may involve new risks. While there is increasing research focus on the perception of risk in non-traditional urban water sources, there is a need for more detailed empirical attention to the interaction of emerging institutional roles and responsibilities with the various regulatory frameworks for land use planning and water services in experimental precinct-scale initiatives. In initiatives for integrated urban water management stormwater is increasingly viewed as a resource rather than only a flood hazard. However the precinct scale at which efficiencies are best realised for the capture and treatment of urban stormwater pose new challenges for the management of risk, particularly where initiatives involve devolved governance arrangements where different organisations may be responsible for management of different types of risk at different stages of project development. We compare case studies of innovative projects involving stormwater capture and treatment in two different Australian cities. Each involves a level of devolved governance but the institutional arrangements and regulatory frameworks relating to land use planning and water services differ in each case. Our conclusions strongly endorse an ongoing role for trusted government authorities in overseeing effective risk management, and the importance of effective risk management in facilitating precinct scale innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37–48
Number of pages12
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • Decentralisation
  • Policy innovation
  • Recycling
  • Regulation
  • Risk management
  • Stormwater

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