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Shaping a cooler and greener Western Sydney

Architectus and Bligh Tanner deliver pioneering urban design approaches to shape a cooler and greener Western Sydney

Architectus and leading engineering consultancy Bligh Tanner, in partnership with Sydney Water, have delivered one of the most significant urban planning projects in Australia, Urban Typologies and Stormwater Management.

Shaping a cooler and greener Western Sydney, the innovative urban design approach to stormwater management resolves challenges around urban density, urban greening and sustainable water management. Focussed on Western Sydney’s Wianamatta South Creek corridor, otherwise known as Western Parkland City, the strategy places urban microclimate at the forefront of urban planning.

Architectus, Bligh Tanner and Sydney Water produced the report following the design, analysis and testing of multiple urban typologies. One of the significant findings was that temperatures can be reduced by up to 4.6 degrees on average by innovative streetscape design and stormwater capture in new developments.

The proposed typologies provide an evidence-based benchmark for the delivery of best practice sustainability outcomes in Western Sydney and other growth areas over the coming decades to create better and more resilient communities.

Alan Hoban, Project Lead at Bligh Tanner, said, “This is the first time in Australia that a new city is being designed to deal with the challenges of future climates. The challenge of Western Sydney is to accommodate an additional one million people in an area that can get oppressively hot in summer, and where there are housing affordability pressures, sensitive waterways and key infrastructure constraints.”

Architectus Project Leader, Oscar Stanish said the project sets new benchmarks for the integration of urban design, planning and sustainable stormwater management.

“Its implementation will deliver the State Government’s objectives of a cool, green and sustainable Western Parkland City.”

Western Parkland City - Urban Typologies and Stormwater Management

The report’s recommendations are designed for simple and realistic implementation by planning authorities and developers across a broad range of uses, including office, industrial and residential developments.

Proposed changes include increasing canopy cover, maximising areas of irrigated vegetation and setting planning controls on the amount of water-resistant surfaces. These changes can contribute to a 75 per cent reduction in stormwater runoff compared to current standards.

Sydney Water Managing Director, Roch Cheroux said the report showcases the smart planning techniques that will guide development across Western Sydney and other growth communities, reducing the Urban Heat Island Effect through more effective design principles and catchment management.

“The report was commissioned to help influence the design of buildings, open spaces, streetscapes and green corridors to deliver a true Parkland City, in what is currently one of the hottest and driest parts of Greater Sydney.

“The best practice examples from across Australia challenge the business-as-usual approach, and show how landscape-led design, which captures and uses all water resources, is both achievable and realistic.

“Furthermore, implementing cooling actions such as permeable surfaces, tree planting, vegetation and irrigation will provide welcome relief to communities in Western Sydney, with modelling showing the number of extreme, very strong and strong heat-stress days per summer, decreases dramatically from 47 to 19 days.”

To read the summary report, click here.