Since the term Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) was first coined in Australia over twenty years ago, it has been promoted through the National Water Initiative and policy initiatives at the State level. Despite substantial work towards policy outcomes, Australia still lacks a suite of best practice planning policy objectives, key performance indicators, and standards that can be applied at different planning scales, contexts, and jurisdictions.

Statutory Planning for Water Sensitive Urban Design (Project B5.1) has sought to fill this knowledge gap by considering the extent to which WSUD has been adopted in modern statutory planning frameworks and whether current frameworks are sufficient to maximise the uptake of WSUD opportunities in Australia’s cities.

Policy Framework for Water Sensitive Urban Design in 5 Australian Cities synthesises key observations from previous work and consultation outcomes and provides a comparative analysis of the policy regimes across five cities. Based on these analyses, the report makes a range of planning reform recommendations for each State and for consideration nationally.