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Chinese and Australian partnership capitalises on shared WSUD expertise

Australian research and technology will be put the test in a 10-hectare innovation park in China aimed at testing new innovations in water sensitive urban design (WSUD).

The Victorian Government and the Jiangsu Provincial Government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that stipulates the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC) will work with Jiangsu Water Supply Security Centre to facilitate collaborative research and research transfer.

The CRCWSC said the partnership would be mutually beneficial.

“Both regions are striving to increase their resilience to climatic extremes of floods and droughts, and working to reduce the impacts of urban growth on the ecological health of the water environment,” according to a statement from the Centre.

“From this collaboration, Victoria is keen to learn from Jiangsu’s approach to implementing programs that address urbanisation challenges at a large scale, while Jiangsu would like to learn from the Australian approach to and experience in implementing WSUD.”

The specifics of the MoU stipulate the establishment of a 10-hectare innovation park to bring Australian research, cutting-edge technology and Water Sensitive City products into the city of Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, for demonstration, incubation, local application and commercialisation.

“The CRCWSC has been commissioned to lead the park’s development and master planning, and to undertake landscape and building concept designs that will showcase CRCWSC innovation at building and public open-space scales,” the Centre said.

“The Victoria-Jiangsu Sponge City Innovation Park will link with Kunshan City’s Sponge City Performance Assessment and Testing Facilities; the two will collectively serve as the research demonstration and technology validation facility for Australian innovation for application in China.”

CRCWSC CEO Professor Tony Wong said the MoU built on four years of work with the city of Kunshan.

“The success of the partnership with the City of Kunshan provided the template and catalyst for expanding Victorian enterprise participation to transform cities and towns in Jiangsu Province into places that are more sustainable, resilient and liveable,” Wong said.

“In addition to our ongoing work in the City of Kunshan, we now have the opportunity to immediately influence capital works investments in an additional two cities, to be nominated by Jiangsu Province.

“This will strengthen pathways to market for Victorian and Australian expertise, and facilitate new partnerships with these additional cities and associated China-based enterprises.”