This report establishes the foundation for ongoing research by the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities in linking urban water management and urban liveability. The study commenced through the science-policy partnership for water sensitive cities initiative, a joint initiative of Monash University’s then Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (now Monash Water for Liveability Centre) and the then Victoria’s Department of Sustainability and Environment (now Department for Environment, Land, Water and Planning).
Through adopting a "societal needs" approach to liveability, the report draws connections between human needs and wants with the emerging paradigm of water sensitive urban design. To a large extent the physical and material needs for survival are common to all communities – food, water, shelter etc, however, the needs and wants beyond mere survival, those that effectively enhance one’s quality of life, are likely to reflect the particular values and ambitions of the communities. This approach considers that systems such as water supply and drainage systems are technological responses to the needs of humans, such as the need for drinking water and flood protection. With the practice of water sensitive urban design, we extend the principles of Integrated urban water cycle management to include additional urban design considerations such as urban amenity, public health, urban microclimates and heat mitigation, biodiversity and the ecological health of natural environments and receiving waters.