An introduction to passively irrigated landscapes
Designing for a cool city is focused on increasing soil moisture and healthy vegetation to help reduce urban heat through evapotranspiration and shade. The diversion of stormwater into vegetated systems can improve the health of plants and trees, while turning stormwater from a nuisance into a valuable resource. This is called passive irrigation as the approach uses gravity to get water to where it is needed to irrigate vegetation and rehydrate our landscapes. This helps to sustain plants during dry weather, by providing access to soil moisture stores, and provides for lusher and cooler urban forms. The use of stormwater for irrigation of landscapes can also reduce stormwater pollution and discharge volumes and thus help protect downstream environments, such as our waterways and bays, from the impacts of urbanisation.