This year, the CRCWSC and two of its SME Participants, SEED Consulting Services and REALM Studios, collaborated with Sydney Water and Liverpool City Council to progress the vision for Liverpool in Greater Sydney as a rejuvenated river city. The project report from that collaboration, Ideas for the Liverpool Collaboration Area, is now available.


The report presents four ideas for a river sensitive Liverpool, recognising that water is a key enabler of making the city more liveable and resilient. And the four ideas focus on water cycle and resource recovery opportunities within a circular economy context.

Our research tells us that the greatest benefits for a city will be achieved if water (systems, assets, infrastructure, management) is planned as one of the foundational layers in the renewal of that city. In this way, water can be used to activate urban spaces, keep the temperature down and underpin a growing economy and innovative new industries.

To create Liverpool as a water sensitive city, intentionally prioritising water management as a key building block for urban renewal is a must.

Our work builds on the ideas and actions for water already documented in Liverpool City Council’s Water Management Policy (2016) and the Liverpool Place Strategy and the existing collaborative networks of stakeholders who comprise the Liverpool Collaboration Area.

By working with stakeholders and applying our research synthesis process, we’ve been able to:

  • provide an overarching framework for water management that ties individual actions into a cohesive strategy
  • clarify links and dependencies between water, waste, energy and urban planning
  • demonstrate how the actions can be applied
  • employ designs that capture the multiple benefits that simultaneously support sustainability, resilience and liveability outcomes.

The result is a transformation of urban and water planning, to position water as the starting point for urban planning, in recognition of its critical role in forming the landscape. You can download the full report here.

Ideas for Liverpool Collaboration Area demonstrates the CRCWSC’s innovative research synthesis approach, which introduces technical solutions, and fosters collaboration and integrated governance among the many stakeholders involved in city planning, infrastructure delivery and water environment protection. As we look beyond the CRCWSC (whose term expires in June 2021), we are creating an enduring legacy—the Water Sensitive Cities Institute—which will use the CRCWSC’s flagship research synthesis approach to support the ongoing adoption of water sensitive principles and practices.

For more information on the CRCWSC’s research synthesis process and ‘Ideas for’ workshops that led to this significant outcome for Liverpool, contact our National Engagement Manager, Jamie Ewert ( You can watch our short video on our research synthesis process too.

What’s a collaboration area?

A ‘collaboration area’ is an area designated by the Greater Sydney Commission that has great potential to grow its vibrancy, diversity and productivity, with improved employment and education opportunities, enhanced liveability and sustainability. Over 12 months, stakeholders take a place-based, multi-stakeholder and coordinated planning approach to addressing complex urban issues in the area.   Learn more.

Last updated: 19th Nov 2019