Traditional approaches to managing urban water systems are based on planning large-scale centralised infrastructure that aim to reduce uncertainties and control variables such as water supply and demand. As pressures from climate change, urbanisation, pollution, resource scarcity and ageing infrastructure increase, so do the complexities and uncertainties of integrated water systems that support a city’s sustainability and liveability.

This project aims to develop tools that can support and influence strategic planning to enable a city’s transition to a water sensitive future. These tools include methodologies for the participatory development of water sensitive city visions and transition strategies, which together are known as transition scenarios, at different scales and by different stakeholder groups.

Key outcomes

The outcomes of this project have included city-specific scenarios of visions and transition pathways for Melbourne and Perth, which integrate community, practitioner and science perspectives. Researchers are also producing a process manual that provides step-by- step guidelines for building transition scenarios and integrating participatory processes into formal strategic planning initiatives. A further outcome will be a forum in which the synergies of each CRCWSC program’s activities can be considered within scenarios of future water sensitive cities.