Executive summary

Australian cities have experienced significant growth recently, a trend that is expected to continue. One response from governments has been to promote ‘infill development’, which increases urban density, but also has significant adverse effects on urban water cycles, resource use efficiency, and the amenity and liveability of urban areas.

The CRC for Water Sensitive Cities’ Water sensitive outcomes for infill development research project (IRP4) aimed to better understand the impacts of business-as-usual infill development, and create design alternatives that deliver superior outcomes in terms of liveability, hydrological performance and resource efficiency.

This report summarises the findings of this research and explains the project’s three main outputs:

  • the Infill Performance Evaluation Framework, which assess the water sensitive outcomes from infill development
  • the Site-scale Urban Water Mass Balance Assessment (SUWMBA) Tool, which quantifies all the water flows associated with an urban area
  • the Infill Typologies Catalogue, which contains a range of housing typologies that support higher urban densities while at the same time enhancing environmental performance.

It also discusses the application of these outputs in various locations around Australia.

Last updated: 9th Apr 2021