Water sensitive planning has been touted as an important climate change adaptation response to the increasing frequency and severity of both flooding and drought episodes. In particular, open space planning can play an important role in water sensitive cities through its potential to establish and maintain a range of hydrological functions in open space networks using water sensitive urban design principles. This requires an effective integration of water management, climate change adaptation and open space planning at catchment and regional levels.

However, in practice evidence of effective integration of knowledge of hydrological connections and climate change adaptation into open space planning appears to be achieved to varying degrees. This paper examines urban planning and strategic documents by authorities and local governments in South East Queensland, Melbourne, and Perth and examines the extent of such integration at a regional level. It proposes the development of a framework to better integrate planning for open spaces as an ally to water resource management in the face of changing rainfall patterns, and changing flood and drought risks.


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