GUIDE | Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD, SuDS, LID)

World Water Day (Sunday 21 March) is a great time to remember the role that landscape architects play in managing water in the landscape. Over the last decade Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) has increased in importance as the world understands the importance of water in cities and the effects of climate change. The video above published by the Landscape Institute is a great example of the material available on the net in assisting landscape architects understand WSUD, but also use the video as a tool to educate the public on the importance of water in cities.

I have collated a list of great resources that you can use to learn, understand and promote Water Sustainable Urban Design in your projects, classrooms and cities.


ASLA – Green Infrastructure has information for Green Streets, Green Roof & Walls, Constructed Wetlands and more

EPA (USA) – Low Impact Development | great resource of design manuals, barrier busters, fact sheets that address water design

ABC Waters – WSUD Design Manual  |  Developed by PUB Singapore, the ABC Waters Design Guidelines (Free PDF for download) provide reference to developers and industry professionals on Bioretention Swales, Bioretention Basins and Constructed Wetlands.

Water Sensitive Cities | An Australian Government initiative the provides technical information and research of water management in cities.

Melbourne Water – WSUD | information that assists designers with selecting a treatment, maintenance schedules, tools and training manuals.

Landscape Institute – Knowledge – Water | Documents, links, news and case studies on Water management

Susdrain (UK) | Case Studies, Fact Sheets, Guidance, and Design Manuals.

Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) for South Africa: FRAMEWORK AND GUIDELINES (pdf) | report that provides an overview of WSUD in South Africa including the current infrastructure and data.

Built Projects (some of the many projects on WLA)

Kallang River Bishan Park | Singapore | Atelier Dreiseitl

Burbank Water and Power EcoCampus | AHBE Landscape Architects

Place Design and Planning creates a business park with community and environmental credentials

The Hive Worcester Library landscape | Worcester UK | Grant Associates

Bullitt Center | Seattle USA | Berger Partnership

Clark Art Institute Expansion Landscape | Williamstown, USA | Reed Hilderbrand

Purifying Park de Ceuvel by Delva Landscape Architects

Victorian Desalination Project Green Roof | ASPECT Studios | Wonthaggi Australia

Mound plan | Overdiepse polder The Netherlands | Bosch Slabbers Landscape + Urban design

Derbyshire Street Pocket Park
 | London UK | Greysmith Associates

Conceptual Projects (published by WLA)

The Delta District | Vinge, Denmark | SLA

Waterplein | Rotterdam Netherlands | DE URBANISTEN (finished and published in WLA Magazine)

How can Venice live with Climate Change?

NBBJ designs New East Coastal Area in Shantou China

Morphis wins International Design Competition for Kai Tak River, Hong Kong

Student Projects (published by WLA)

STUDENT PROJECT | Urban Water A New Layer in The City Landscape | Jelena Kotevska

STUDENT PROJECT | Natural Water as Cultural Water | Zhicheng Xu

Vascular Plant | Yonjun Jo, Eujin Julia Kim | Philadelphia, USA

This information is provided as a resource and should be used as a reference only. When designing project incorporating Water Sensitive Urban Design principles it is important to address and incorporate the requirements of the local conditions, laws and regulations regarding water management.

About Damian Holmes 3083 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at