Regional Priorities for the Western Adelaide Region

The Western Adelaide Regional Adaptation Priorities Action Plan ‘sets the pace’, and establishes opportunities according to specific locations within the Western Region.


The Western Adelaide Regional Adaptation Priorities Action Plan:

The physical relocation of some assets and infrastructure away from high risk areas will be necessary within a 20-year time frame – not long, given what’s involved.

An important adaptation option for further exploration by the Region is to limit further development, or relocating development in hazard prone areas; other regions across the State are grappling with similar considerations, and the AdaptWest plan suggests convening a round table discussion with the other planning regions and the State Government to discuss current approaches to adaptation in known hazard zones; issues associated with continuing to allow development to remain in these areas; barriers to changing the current approach and opportunities for change; and strategies for transitioning development from known hazard areas.

The State government, Local Government Association, other South Australian regions – and the insurance sector – will have a role to play, joining with the Western Adelaide Region and its constituent Councils to assure the future of its physical assets and infrastructure.

But that’s 20 years away – What needs to be done NOW?

Longer-term physical strategies begin now, using risk-assessment approaches to prioritise adaptation responses, including management of urban runoff to mitigate flooding, improve water quality and reuse; embedding climate considerations into asset management and decision making; establishing ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ infrastructure protection measures along the coast.

Map 1 (below) Opportunities for increasing urban greenness

Map 2 (below) Opportunities for education and awareness raising

Map 3 (below) Opportunities for building community connectedness/focus on people with vulnerabilities

Map 4 (below) Opportunities for Infrastructure, Planning & Policy

Map 5 (below) AdaptWest Regional Priorities Map

Priority Action: Develop alternative funding options

What does it involve?

A ‘Regional Funding Forum’ could be convened with stakeholders from across the Western Adelaide Region and State and Federal Government to explore new and innovative approaches to funding.

Who leads the way?

State Government, Western Adelaide Region Councils, Asset and infrastructure owners and operators, Developers, Local Government Association, Other Regions, Commonwealth Government, Regional Development Australia (RDA) and infrastructure funding agencies.


Priority Action: Increase urban greenness

What does it involve?

The 3 Western Region councils have already begun the intial step of undertaking a 'greenness' audit of the Region, including:

  • undertaking urban heat island mapping to determine priority areas for planting
  • identifying areas that experience high visitation (eg activity centres), provide connections between existing open space, are higher density, promote active travel (eg Torrens Linear Park) are planned urban growth areas, and assessing the extent of plantings
  • reviewing tree management strategies and open space plans/strategies to determine gaps in provision or requirements to renew/maintain existing plantings.

Who leads the way?

State Government, Western Adelaide Region Councils, Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Natural Resources Management Board, Developers, Universities and research institutions, Private landowners and Community (advocates).


Priority Action: Plan and design climate resilient buildings, places & spaces

What does it involve?

Climate resilience can be increased through:

  • Greening of urban areas through tree planting and open space and provision of green infrastructure including water sensitive urban design (refer Figure B2). State development policies may also need to be reviewed to identify constraints to implementation of this action.
  • Building and infrastructure design that takes into account future climate conditions.
  • Managing development in hazard prone locations (eg along the coast or low lying areas).

Who leads the way?

State Government: Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure
Western Adelaide Region Councils, AMLR NRMB, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), Botanic Gardens and Developers.


Priority Action: Prepare Climate-resilience guidelines

What does it involve?

  • species selection for trees and other vegetation (including shrubs) that provide good shade cover, contribute to urban cooling and have manageable limb drop under heat stress
  • opportunities for WSUD features to be integrated with street trees/vegetation to enable irrigation
  • providing shade via vegetation or built structures for playspaces and playgrounds and adjacent to walking and cycling paths
  • materials that are more resilient to extreme weather such as extreme heat and flooding
  • designing and constructing footpaths and trails that can cope with extreme heat and flooding from intense rainfall and storm surge
  • opportunities to incorporate innovative infrastructure into the public realm that reduces the impacts of;
    • extreme heat (eg misting, water play or fans); or
    • flooding/storm surge (eg awnings, verandas, covered walkways,boardwalks)
  • advice regarding potential for maladaptation.
    • For example, using artificial turf to reduce irrigation and maintenance requirements can result in destroying soil organic matter.

Who leads the way?

Housing Industry Association (HIA), LGA, Property Council of Australia, Universities and research institutions, Urban Development Institute of Australia, UDIA and Water Sensitive SA.


Priority Action: Education and awareness raising

What does it involve?

Initiatives should be focussed on key sectors/target audiences:

  • Vulnerable members of the community, particularly in regard to heatwaves and extreme heat
  • Broader community, particularly in regard to extreme heat and periodic flooding from storm surge
  • Business and industry, particularly in relation to understanding the risks of climate change and the need to plan for emergencies associated with flooding from intense rainfall events and storm surge

Who leads the way?

State Government: SA Health, Department of State Development (DSD), State Emergency Service, Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Coast Protection Board, Climate Change Branch and Natural Resource Management), Insurance sector, Australian Red Cross, Business and industry, Other Regions and Community service agencies.


Priority Action: Build community connectedness

What does it involve?

Can be supported by programs, initiatives and activities that occur at a range of scales, from neighbourly interactions that happen on an ad hoc, casual basis through to established groups and networks that meet regularly or organisations that undertake specific activities or provide opportunities for social interaction and community development.

Through improved community connectedness, people living in the Western Adelaide Region can develop systems of support and establish links with others.

Who leads the way?

Western Adelaide Region Councils, Department of Communities and Social Inclusion, Community service agencies, Not-for Profit Sector, Commonwealth Government funding bodies and Community groups

More about the Western Region ...

Changing for Climate Change