The CRC for Water Sensitive Cities will formally launch its Scenario Tool at the upcoming 4th Water Sensitive Cities Conference in Brisbane. The tool (developed as part of the Tools and Products (TAP) project) is designed to help practitioners evaluate and compare water sensitive urban development options and approaches, and their multi-faceted impacts. The aim is to deliver insights to help practitioners strategically plan complex urban systems.

So far, the tool has been used in 15 case studies, to test its functionality. These case studies have ranged from testing urban heat outcomes across regional Melbourne based on forecasted tree canopy increases, to evaluating water sensitive outcomes of precinct development proposals in Western Australia. Industry input so far shows the tool resonated best for identifying urban heat impacts of precinct-scale urban development options.

Now, CRCWSC Participants will be able to use the tool in their every day practice. The tool models changes in urban infrastructure, water networks and urban demographics over time. This geographic information system (GIS) based tool shows how various water sensitive technologies and policies may affect our urban areas.

It comprises a library of separate but connected modules that quantify the advantages of nine blue-green infrastructure options (green roofs, open space irrigation, trees on lot, rainwater harvesting tanks, swales, wetlands/ponds, tree pits, tree cover increase, generate street trees):

The urban development module combines socioeconomic dynamics, urban development and infrastructure adaptation to simulate cities as complex and dynamic systems (that can be scaled from street to urban catchment size).

The urban heat island module predicts dynamic land surface and air temperatures. It works by applying temperature data from surface temperature sensors that reflect existing or representative land cover.

The urban water cycle module quantifies an urban area’s water inputs, outputs and storages. This module is currently being developed, but will be available in upcoming releases.

Users can input their own data, or use the available baseline data, to simulate different development scenarios. They can create personalised adaptation planning strategies, and test them under dynamic ‘what if’ scenarios with a wide range of stakeholders. The tool provides:

  • an easy to use interface that showcases the 3D models and the underlying data layers
  • a dashboard of modelled outcomes from CRCWSC research, to both inform users and help decision making across development scenarios.

The TAP team will be conducting training about the tool at the conference for those wanting to take a closer look. We’ve developed documentation and tutorials so users can get started quickly. Participants will have full access to the tool after it's launched on 28 March 2019. We are particularly looking for partners to help us scale the tool, working with us and our pipeline of clients.

In the meantime, we will be working on developing more modules, expanding the types of blue-green infrastructure included, and exploring ways to integrate the tool with external industry-standard models (such as the Model for Urban Stormwater Improvement Conceptualisation (MUSIC) and Urban Nutrient Decision Outcomes (UNDO)).

If you’ve got any questions, you can contact Kyle Wang ( 

Last updated: 19th Mar 2019