Road edge treatments for stormwater reduction and street health




Researchers: A/Prof Stephen Livesley, Dr Andrew Coutts (Monash University)

Funding: Office of Living Victoria, Melbourne Water and City of Monash (2013-2105)


In this project we trialled, tested and promoted simple, low-maintenance, cost-effective kerb and nature strip retrofits to reduce stormwater runoff and improve microclimates and street tree health.

We installed two kerb retrofits in four City of Monash residential streets to divert road runoff into aggregate filled water sensitive urban design trenches in nature strips. This increase in soil moisture can support tree growth, canopy development and resilience.

We monitored soil moisture, pre-dawn leaf water, stem diameter and microclimate.

Two streets were in sandy loam soils and two streets were in clay loam soils. Two streets were planted with native, evergreen Lophostemum confertus (Brush Box), one with exotic deciduous, Ulmus parvifloria (Chinese Elm) and one with exotic, deciduous Pyrus calleryana (Callery Pear).

Further work has been conducted by Jasmine Thom as part of her PhD, and Dr Chris Szota.


For more information please contact Stephen Livesley from the Green Infrastructure Research Group at



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