Creating water sensitive places

CIRIA is pleased to announce the launch of a scoping study on the potential for Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) in the UK.


The new document, Creating Water Sensitive Places, follows the launch of the WSUD ideas booklet at Ecobuild 2013.


WSUD is a holistic approach to water management and urban design that provides a fantastic opportunity to live in greater harmony with water, create great places and deliver multiple benefits. It does this by creating spaces that are sensitive to the needs of the natural water cycle and that are inspirational, attractive, functional and valued. The approach has the potential to manage flooding, water pollution and provide local sources of water. Importantly, it brings together communities and a wide range of disciplines designing and managing our built and natural environments.


This scoping study explores the potential benefits for WSUD in the UK, its drivers, opportunity and potential delivery challenges. Based on an extensive literature review and broad consultation the study provides an overview of the evolution and experiences of countries that have applied WSUD and outlines specific “agents for change” that might be required to successfully embrace this approach in the UK.


Richard Ashley, Chair of CIRIA’s WSUD scoping study said “Water Sensitive Urban Design is an approach to manage water in a more holistic way where the water cycle is fully considered during the urban design and development process. WSUD concepts recognise the value of water and the potential to deliver multiple benefits. The CIRIA scoping study has enabled us to understand how Water Sensitive Urban Design can be embraced in the UK.”


The CIRIA WSUD project is a joint undertaking with Arup and AECOM. The collaborative project was funded by both public and private sector organisations including Defra, Natural Resources Wales, Glasgow City Council, water companies, consultants, manufacturers and drainage modelling software companies.


The scoping study is available from CIRIA

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