Urenio Watch Watch: Intelligent / Smart Cities Strategies

Report: Towards Water Smart Cities

The Climate-KIC Pathfinder ‘˜Towards Water Smart Cities’ has resulted in a  co-designed inspiring and viable business case to demonstrate and reproduce integrated Water Smart Cities innovations on district level in both The Netherlands and Denmark.

Water Smart City approach is a visionary approach to integrate sustainable urban planning and water management that aims to minimise the hydrological impacts of urban development on the surrounding environment. It integrates urban planning and the urban water cycle, and makes a good business out of it for society as a whole. The concept includes integration of stormwater, groundwater, waste water management and water supply to cope with societal challenges related to climate change, resource efficiency and energy transition, to minimise environmental degradation and to improve aesthetic and recreational appeal. This approach develops integrative strategies for ecological, economic, social, and cultural sustainability. Systemic WSC innovation opportunities and thus possible positive business cases are mainly achievable in the overlap of the three segments of the urban water cycle (i.e. water supply, surface water runoff and wastewater).

Key messages

  • The world is urbanising and climate changing will have large impact on cities.
  • Water plays a central role in sustainable urban development. Cities around the world face great challenges with water ‘“too much and/or too little.
  • The Water Smart City approach integrates urban planning and water management to increase climate resilience + creating value for citizens.
  • Integrating urban development and climate adaptation offers huge opportunities to improve the quality of urban life.
  • There is a strong need for an evidence base to show that Water Smart City approaches are more sustainable, create more benefits and therefore provide a solid business case.

Roadmap: 6 steps towards Water Smart Cities

  1. Identify challenges and opportunities
  2. Define WSC vision
  3. Explore co-creation opportunities
  4. Co-design solutions
  5. Define Business case
  6. Implement & evaluate (Continuous)