Water Sensitive Urban Design has been central to the practice of Wraight + Associates for over fifteen years. From streetscapes to large parks Wā’s projects have sought to sustainably manage surface water and mitigate pollutant runoff, in turn improving the health of water bodies and providing a unique expression of city ecologies.
Wraight + Associates have been instrumental in the development and implementation of water-sensitive urban design (WSUD) practices in New Zealand. Waitangi Park, in Wellington, is an exemplar of award winning landscape design that creatively embeds WSUD principles into its very fabric. The cumulative result of the hugely successful design partnership between Wraight + Associates and Athfield Architects – Wraight Athfield Landscape and Architecture (WALA) – the park demonstrates the highly effective integration of ecological, cultural and creative thinking within a contemporary urban waterfront setting. In addition to ecologically managing site storm-water, the park re-surfaces the long-buried (culverted) Waitangi Stream and in doing so, the extracted water is treated(cleaned) before entering Wellington Harbour’s receiving waters.
The expertise gained on pioneering projects such as Waitangi Park by founding director, the late Megan Wraight and co-director Nicole Thompson, along with her previous experience in Australia, has since been adapted and applied to a range of projects across New Zealand. The Wā team have developed a detailed understanding of WSUD practice and its technical requirements and we have well established working relationships with specialist environmental engineers in both New Zealand and Australia.
Wā directors have presented and published widely on WSUD, its impacts and opportunities for cities. Selected recent articles and presentations:
WSUD’s importance lies not just in slowing and cleaning storm water runoffs, and thereby improving the health of water bodies and the performance of cities. WSUD techniques provide the opportunity to expose ecologies otherwise lost to urban environments and to elicit complex – often forgotten – cultural and historical relationships; bio-remediaton as place-based interpretation