How do we get there?

Step One: Have a destination in sight.

The work of this Centre is to help develop this destination in collaboration with many practitioners, who agree that this is a goal their cities should strive for. But we recognise that during this journey the goal posts will move, changing the destination. The important thing is to make sure the goal itself is a shared imperative.

To clarify this imperative and its vision, a national series of workshops were held with practitioners to mesh research and experiential knowledge to offer the beginnings of a national agenda for Creating Water Sensitive Cities. For information and output from this workshop series, visit the website at

Around the same time, a group of 15 urban water professionals from across Australia travelled to Europe and Singapore to investigate innovative water management approaches, in search of inspiration and ideas that could assist in the creation of a ‘Water Sensitive City’; read more about the experiences and learnings from the Water Sensitive Cities Study Tour.

Step Two: Plan the journey.

Even if we don’t know exactly where we need to go, we can find ideas by looking at where we’ve come from.

Research to better understand the institutional and technical arrangements that have shaped Australian Cities urban water management practices of the last 200 years have provided a draft road map for the journey toward Water Sensitive Cities.

Past city states, defined by different drivers for the management of water, have shown how service delivery functions manifest in infrastructure. In estimating what the future needs of service delivery might be, we can make an educated guess at how infrastructure and management practices can meet these requirements. This gives us new city states as stepping stones toward the Water Sensitive City, and each step forward provides more clues to what the destination looks like, and how we get there.