Salisbury East precinct: Planning for water sensitive infill development (IRP3)


Current business-as-usual infill development often results in large building footprints and poorly designed low-rise developments that lack open space, tree canopy, solar access and cross ventilation. The water sensitive city approach provides an alternative that aims to support higher density communities while also enhancing the social, economic and environmental performance of Australian cities.

This case study will explore the extent to which the South Australian planning system facilitates the implementation of water sensitive infill typologies within a precinct study area in Salisbury East in northern Adelaide. This suburban area and its surrounding suburbs are going through urban regeneration, driven by the City of Salisbury City Plan 2030. This work builds upon the outcomes of the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities' Integrated Research Project 4 (IRP4) Water sensitive outcomes for infill developments, that developed a typologies catalogue of dwelling designs for water sensitive infill development, and an evaluation framework that provides methods for assessing the water sensitive performance of alternative infill design options.

Working with key stakeholders, this case study will test the ability of the South Australian planning system to facilitate the implementation of water sensitive residential infill typologies in Salisbury East. The project will:

  • analyse the extent to which existing planning and governance systems support or constrain four infill design scenarios for housing development in the Salisbury East precinct, and
  • explore potential opportunities to improve the enabling context for high-quality development and urban realm outcomes proposed in the IRP4 precinct designs. Opportunities may relate to planning requirements, such as new development overlays and mandatory regulations, or changes to current governance and service delivery arrangements.

This project is very timely in the context of current changes to the SA planning and development system. The state is currently rolling out a renewed planning system of a single Planning and Design Code, underpinned by the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016. The Code has a strong focus on the role of design in achieving improved development outcomes and the application of new planning tools will be tested in this project.


Salisbury East Rejuvenation case study workshop, October 2020

Through a hypothetical application of the draft Planning and Design Code (the Code) to different infill scenarios for the Salisbury East Precinct, this workshop with the City of Salisbury provides a unique opportunity to (a) investigate the limits of the Code, and (b) unpack the broader governance and institutional factors that enable or constrain the delivery of high quality infill housing and a greener and more connected public realm.

The objectives of this workshop are to:

  • test how the infill housing typologies and public realm designs of the Salisbury East water sensitive precinct plan could be implemented
  • explore potential benefits, opportunities, constraints and partnerships to advance water sensitive urban design in Salisbury.

Further reading

Last updated: 24th Feb 2021