On Friday 26 July, the Landscape Institute will launch their Water Sensitive Urban Design film at Generation H20 student conference at the Garden Museum in London. The film, commissioned by the Landscape Institute and based on work by CIRIA, Arup and AECOM, explains the concept of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) and argues the case for designing ‘with’ water when planning any new development.
Water, whether drought or flood, dominated the UK headlines in 2012. The widespread floods following long-term droughts exposed the UK’s lack of resilience. 20 million customers in the UK experienced hosepipe bans in efforts to limit the stress on water resources and the floods caused the biggest insurance losses since 2007, when more than £3bn of water damage claims were filed. Climate science predicts that this kind of extreme weather is set to continue with increasingly severity.
WSUD is an integrated solution to flooding, droughts and water quality, which promotes a more rational and frugal use of water alongside the creation of beautiful and resilient places. WSUD is about looking beyond the idea that a pipe in the ground is the best option for dealing with rain water – it is about prioritising all elements of the water cycle when designing and developing new places. WSUD reduces flooding, harnesses the potential of flood water, cuts the demand for potable water and improves water quality – all measures which make the water supply chain more sustainable.
Sue Illman, President of the Landscape Institute, said: “Water is going to be a major problem for towns and cities in the future. We need to start having a conversation about how we are going to meet those challenges and make our cities and towns more water sensitive. We know that the creation of rain gardens and other designed water features can provide natural drainage and prevent flooding but dealing with rain water is just the start…..”
Open to all Landscape Institute members, the event, which will be held at the Garden Museum in London, will be part of the student conference, entitled ‘Generation H20’, which focuses on water-sensitive design. Tickets for the event, which starts at 6.30 pm, include full access to the Garden Museum, the presentation and a drinks and bagels reception afterwards. There will be a cash bar.