Water Journal : Water Journal April 2013
water April 2013 74 Feature article which was located adjacent to medium- and high-end housing, ensuring that social barriers were minimised. As for environmental drivers and policy, there are two events that have significantly influenced change, being the introduction in 2000 of the European Union’s Water Framework Directive, and the noticeable shift in weather patterns, particularly the increase in flood events. Both of these drivers have had a major impact on stormwater management, leading to the mandatory use of green roofs and the installation of flood detention facilities in the urban landscape. There has also been an emphasis placed on water quality and the potential impacts, from both a quality and quantity perspective, on the receiving environment. The EU Water Framework Directive promotes the protection of surface waters by the financing of strategic projects and the enforcement of offsets and penalties for not complying with this legislation. liVeaBility The liveability criteria were demonstrated at many of the urban development sites. While the European urban landscape differs from that in conventional Australian urban areas, particularly in the density of housing, there were developments that demonstrated features that would appeal to many Australians. Four developments stand out due to each containing examples of one or more components that underpin the liveability aspect of an urban area. These include low-energy houses (low carbon footprint), large areas of open communal space including areas referred to as “water plazas” (doubling as stormwater management infrastructure), the ability to connect the residents to their environment, smart use of water and vegetation for aesthetic and urban cooling benefits, a lack of reliance on cars for transport, and an overall “village” feel. These developments were Western Harbour in Malmo, Sweden; Vathorst Estate in Amersfoort, The Netherlands; The City of the Sun in Heerhugowaard, the Netherlands; and Trabrennbahn Farmsen in Hamburg, Germany. Trabrennbahn Farmsen was particularly appealing due to the design being incorporated into the footprint of a disused horse-racing track, shown in Figure 3. This development was set on a 15-hectare site and included the integration of the stormwater system into the urban landscape. No stormwater pipes were used in this development; all stormwater was directed through a series of small to medium stormwater channels that mimicked natural creeks. The holistic approach to integrated urban design demonstrated at these four sites represented an outstanding template for the design of future cities. There are some examples of this holistic approach in Australia, best demonstrated at Lochiel Park in Adelaide and the proposed Central Park Development in Sydney. Although Lochiel Park is not financially viable at its relatively small scale, as this was not the intention of the development, it does demonstrate the ability to undertake this type of development in Australia, and also sets the benchmark for larger developments in the future. SuStainaBility Most aspects of sustainability have by default been explained in the Innovation and Liveability sections. The focus of this section is the consideration and integration of all resources in developments. Due to the similarities between the supply of energy and the water services, there is an obvious link between these two services. This is being refined by Hamburg Water, via generating energy from small hydro- electric systems on their pipelines, and also combining energy and water infrastructure together in new developments. A further aspect of sustainability is the integration of transport into the development. In the four developments discussed in the Liveability section, all featured easy access to public transport and encouraged walking and bicycle use. The benefits from this include lower road infrastructure costs, greater amenity due to the installation of gardens and trees in place of areas required for parking, and influencing community health through exercise and lower carbon monoxide emissions. concluSion As discussed, there is a difference between the methods the Europeans are using to address the issue of urban design and those used in Australia. While in the past the main Australian driver has been the need to conserve water, the past few years of shifting weather patterns has seen a need to reassess stormwater management, and to address the impact of heat generated from urban landscapes. The European approach is holistic, due to the integration of water, energy and transport needs, stemming from a multi-disciplinary method of planning, design and construction. The influence local government (i.e. municipal councils) has had over development in Europe enabled the councils to dictate the terms of the development. Unfortunately, this is not the situation in many new urban developments in Australia. There are numerous examples of innovation in urban development in Australia, some of which exceed the European sites that were visited during the study tour, however these appear to be done in isolation and not to the scale witnessed in Europe. The European approach can be best described as the movement toward resource resilience in urban design, which is one step further than aiming for water-sensitive urban design. acKnowledGementS The 2012 Water Sensitive Cities Study Tour participants would like to acknowledge the financial and in-kind support of the following organisations: Melbourne Water, Western Water, Yarra Valley Water, Barwon Water, City West Water, Wyndam City Council, City of Melbourne Council, City of Port Phillip Bay Council, Sydney Water, SA Water, Water Corporation, Unity Water, GHD and Spiire. We would also like to thank the kind hospitality of our host organisations overseas. Greg Ingleton (email: greg.ingleton@ sawater.com.au) is Principal Advisor – Recycled Water, SA Water Corporation. wJ Figure 3. The Trabrennbahn Farmsen in Hamburg, showing the innovative stormwater management system (top) and the layout of the development. ©DHI/Photo:iStock©GregPanosian WATER MODELLING IN CITIES COLLECTION SYSTEMS, WATER DISTRIBUTION, FLOODING, WASTEWATER TREATMENT, CATCHMENT WATER QUALITY Why our users prefer MIKE URBAN and WEST: One package for all water modelling and GIS requirements Accurate, open and flexible software Outstanding technical support Comprehensive training—on location and in multiple languages Prices are aligned to project budgets www.mikebydhi.com To obtain a free evaluation of our software please contact DHI Australia, Customer Care Unit email@example.com +61 1300 655 592 All over the world, water modellers know MIKE is the gold standard. With MIKE by DHI software, YOU become the expert in water environments. With easy access to our offices in over 30 countries, our MIKE users never stand alone.
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