System design and scenario modelling

We support governments, utilities, councils, developers and citizens use collaborative processes and smart tools to co-create projects, and provide services that communities want and can afford. Our aim is to facilitate resulting urban services—like water, energy, food and waste—that are efficient, integrated and flexible, and deliver outcomes seamlessly and reliably to the community. Infrastructure systems we help create are agile, and managed in real time.

We bring together cross-disciplinary subject matter specialists drawn from academia, research and our industry partners to work with communities and civic leaders to re-imagine and redesign urban utilities as an integrated system delivering efficient and effective community and ecological services. Our scenario modelling tools, built on sound evidence-based science, provide the trusted analytical platform for real-time collaborative decision making and integrated systems design.

Developing a water sensitive drainage and flood strategy for Fishermans Bend

Developing a water sensitive drainage and flood strategy for Fishermans Bend

Increasingly impervious urban environments (caused by roads, buildings and infrastructure) are a major cause of urban flooding. We’re using our work at Fishermans Bend to examine alternative water management strategies, to create more permeable and liveable cities.

Fishermans Bend is a major infill development adjacent to Melbourne’s CBD, expected to accommodate 80,000 residents by 2050. It’s location at the mouth of the Yarra River and existing urban development makes it prone to flooding during extreme weather events.

The CRCWSC and our industry partners are helping to create a competitive, productive, liveable, environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive development. This outcome depends on effective water management strategies. So, we analysed the proposed drainage plan for Fishermans Bend against local Australian planning frameworks and international city analogues, exploring alternative water management strategies that can address the site’s dual flooding drivers, pluvial and fluvial flooding.

The work done by the CRCWSC and our partners greatly expands the requirements of a traditional flood management strategy, creating a community driven, research backed, alternative solution to potential challenges.

Helping create the award winning sponge city of Kunshan

Helping create the award winning sponge city of Kunshan

Our work in China started with a single project in 2012, embedding nature-based technology designed to improve water quality into the landscape architecture of the Opera House and Cultural Plaza in the City of Kunshan, Jiangsu. We have now completed over 30 projects. And our collaboration with Kunshan is entering a new phase—upscaling technologies and integrating them into broader urban frameworks.

We have worked with our partners to help solve some complex urban water problems in China, particularly the City of Kunshan. Our projects have largely focused on degraded waterways, catchment pollution, poor water circulation, poor drainage and frequent flooding; these issues are prevalent in the Kunshan region.

We have combined our innovative social-technical approach with specialised nature-based solutions. This unique approach not only develops bespoke solutions, but also fosters collaboration and integrated governance among the many stakeholders involved in city planning, infrastructure delivery and water environment protection.

We have embedded four elements—water, forest, food and culture—into open spaces, along road and rail transport corridors, conserving strategic natural features and creating an urban mosaic of ecological landscapes for framing and guiding the city’s development.

Our combined natural-social-technical solutions implemented through city-wide strategies reduces pollution into regional waterways and mitigates flood risks for downstream cities. Kunshan is now recognised as one of China’s leading sponge cities with a unique blend of structural and non-structure initiatives, strengthening its resilience to the many challenges of urban water security and urban liveability in a developing city.

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Last updated: 22nd May 2020