Visualisations of a Water Sensitive City

What if the city was like a sponge, soaking up and filtering water instead of repelling it? watersensitivecities_hassell_hero

There is a growing interest in defining a trajectory for water/climate transition based on a shared vision of what our future relationships with water could look like.  Whether these visions are articulated as ‘sustainable’, ‘integrated’, ‘sensitive’ or all three, the focus is the articulation of different expectations about the future roles of water in the lives of citizens and in the economy and the expression of those new roles in the shape of urban development.

The term ‘water sensitive cities’ (WSC’s) has emerged as a useful way to encapsulate the still somewhat fuzzy concepts of an ideal relationship between people, governance, built environment, infrastructure, living ecosystems, resource use (e.g.. energy) and water. It potentially serves a practical purpose – allowing people to share and compare their understanding about emerging water strategies in a way that can help to orient and integrate disparate efforts to deal with challenges occurring at a range of scales. The explicit focus on an urban context is understandable. Cities house most of the world’s people and are the origin of significant (footprint) impacts on the natural environment. Furthermore, cities are the predominant source of technical and social innovation – performing an important role as drivers or leaders of wider change.

In early 2009, the Department of Sustainability and Environment identified a need to develop a common understanding of what is being sought (or achieved) under the banner WSC, with the following goals:

Integrating emerging theoretical perspectives with examples in a way that makes the ideas accessible;
Communicating ideas and examples effectively to open up new opportunities;
Focusing efforts across multiple stakeholder groups; and
Building support for the design and implementation of new projects.

This project is based on the premise that visual materials and life-stories are highly effective communication tools that could be used to make ideas of a WSC tangible for a wide range of audiences, and could therefore assist the Department in meeting the above goals.1

Download the Visualisations2.

1Introductory text from “Water Sensitive Cities: A Framework for Visualisation A report from the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab by Dianne Moy, Kirsten Larsen, Chris Ryan, and Che Biggs”

2Visualisations – Contributing Design Companies:
ASPECT Studios

2Design management and scenario creation: Dianne Moy | Victorian Eco-Innovation Laboratory

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