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Water sensitive residential design: A vision for a browner city?

Hedgcock, D. and Mouritz, M. (1994) Water sensitive residential design: A vision for a browner city? In: Proceedings of the National Greening Australia Conference, 4 - 6 October, Fremantle, Western Australia pp. 141-147.

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Water sensitive design has emerged on the planning and design agenda over the last few years in response to the rapid deterioration in all sectors of the hydrological cycle in and around Perth. Water balance, water quality and water consumption considerations have now become central issues in the debate over the nature and character of future growth within the Perth Metropolitan region.

This paper will briefly plot the evolution of the concept of water sensitive and the promotion of its central mission; to recapture a sense of place in the future design of the city-a place where water is scarce and a delicate natural balance characterises the relationships between soils, plants and animals.

The analysis in the paper will highlight the role of landscaping in the water sensitive design process and in particular will focus on:
-the role of vegetation as a biological filter in the process of water quality control.
-the use of tree planting and retention as a mechanism in maintaining natural water balance.
-the value of landscape enhancement as a way of selling the benefits of water sensitive design.
-the benefits of natural planting in conserving water and yet maintaining the quality and traditions of suburban lifestyles.

The paper will be extensively illustrated using local examples and will conclude on the enormous potential of landscaping to achieve the objectives of water sensitive design and, in turn, to begin to redress the sorry history of the degradation of the natural water cycle in and around Perth.

'Greening' and 'water sensitive design' can live in harmony although the forms and the shades of that green may need to be systematically reformed in the future.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Institute for Science and Technology Policy
Publisher: Greening Australia
Copyright: © 1994 Greening Australia Limited
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