Applying water sensitive urban design to small infill developments

Creating WSUD guidelines for developments with fewer than 20 lots


We are working with Josh Byrne and Associates, the Department of Communities and the City of Rockingham in Western Australia to encourage adoption of WSC approaches in small lot developments (fewer than 20 lots).

This project is supported by the Water Sensitive Transition Network. The Project Steering Group comprises representatives from the Department of Communities, the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, Water Corporation and the City of Rockingham.


The concept of water sensitive urban design (WSUD) was developed in Western Australia in 1992, with guidelines first published in 1994. But, despite widespread adoption in Western Australia, WSUD has not resulted in consistent water sensitive community outcomes, particularly in brownfield and infill sites.

What we’re doing

This project addresses the challenges and uncertainty about applying WSUD in small lot developments and the return on investment.

In particular, the project aims to:

  • demonstrate how WSUD principles can be applied to an infill development to meet the requirements of policies under SPP 7.0 Design of the Built Environment (specifically SPP 7.2 Precinct Design and draft SPP 7.1 Neighbourhood Design) and Draft SPP 2.9 Planning for Water
  • test perceived barriers to WSUD through the design, tender and/or construction process.

The subject site is a Department of Communities infill development in Golden Bay, south of Perth.

How it will help

The outcomes of this project will be:

  • concept design elements to inform processes
  • lessons and recommendations to enable better outcomes through development assessment and building permit processes (e.g. relating to governance, costs and benefits and any technical barriers).

What does a Water Sensitive City look like?

The CRCWSC has produced research, guidelines and
tools related to the following topics:

Integrated Urban Flood

Climate change


Economics and
business case

Flood resilience
Green Infrastructure
Urban heat