There is currently an exciting conversation occurring about the future of planning in Greater Sydney. A Plan for Growing Sydney and the formation of the Greater Sydney Commission sets the direction for a more liveable, sustainable and prosperous city.

Water managers and key stakeholders across the city are discussing the importance of integrating water management in the city's future. Collaboratively, they have identified that adoption of innovative urban water management practice presents a significant opportunity to best achieve many of the directions in A Plan for Growing Sydney.

Already, several government initiatives are progressing such outcomes. Clear strategic direction and high-level coordination is necessary to support this work and facilitate the adoption of integrated water planning to deliver the benefits of a water sensitive approach through urban renewal and greenfield development.

The Greater Sydney Commission is uniquely placed to provide the leadership and coordination to achieve a Water Sensitive Greater Sydney and deliver on communities’ social, environmental and economic expectations.

The Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities was invited to facilitate a workshop in November 2015 to prepare best practice advice and information.

Attending were representatives from Department of Planning and Environment, Office of Environment and Heritage, Sydney Water, Department of Primary Industries Water, Environment Protection Authority and Roads and Maritime Services. This document represents the outputs from that workshop.

It contains:

  • a rationale for the adoption of water sensitivity in planning, including principles for adoption;
  • risks associated with current approaches to urban development and the benefits of a water sensitive approach;
  • a demonstration of the alignment between water sensitive outcomes and the Commission’s objectives; and
  • opportunities on how to facilitate global best practice and deliver a Water Sensitive Greater Sydney.

The objective of this document is to encourage further conversation about the great outcomes that water focused planning can contribute to a more sustainable, resilient, productive and liveable Sydney for stakeholders and communities.