Making urban water management relevant to society by quantifying stakeholder objectives

Julie Skrydstrup, Herle Mo Madsen, Roland Löwe, Henrik Thoren, Ida Bülow Gregersen, Karsten Arnbjerg-Nielsen

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Climate change and urbanisation are challenging urban water management (UWM) and it seems impossible to continue with business as usual. Adapting to an uncertain future is a necessity, including ensuring liveability. Nature-based approaches are promising solutions but require more space than standard measures. Space is a valuable resource in cities. To make a strong case for the need of the increased spatial requirements of UWM, water professionals need to be able to document and communicate the services UWM can deliver to other disciplines. Part of this task is to align with objectives of other key stakeholders, and ways of quantifying these. Several examples exist outside Scandinavia, where stakeholder analysis has been used, but these studies only consider impacts by water infrastructure changes, or nature-based solutions, separately. This study will close this gap by systematically investigating planning objectives and indicators for both UWM and urban planning using stakeholder analysis. The stakeholder analysis consists of a screening of experience-based national literature representing UWM and urban planning. Planning objectives and indicators are validated by a set of workshops, and by comparing to global literature to avoid blind spots. We do this to provide a set of interdisciplinary indicators, which can be used to evaluate and communicate performance of different types of UWM strategies.
Preliminary results show that planning objectives can be divided into four overall categories; welfare, environmental protection, economic objectives and technical objectives. Many of these objectives are intertwined, especially when monetizing indicators. This is particularly the case for environmental objectives such as improving water quality, which is often quantified through indicators such as people’s willingness-to-pay for recreation, or improved access to a beach. However, these indicators are also often applied for welfare objectives. Similarly, an objective of efficient energy use can both be framed as an environmental objective and an economic one. This is something the user should be aware of when applying the objectives and their indicators to not double count benefits. Our analysis provides an overview of the planning objectives of all relevant stakeholders. It is expected that double counting can be overcome by framing objectives to the planning context and the relevant stakeholders. Our results can be used to ease the implementation of climate adaptation by targeting specific stakeholders in the design of strategies, and to evaluate the performance of implemented measures. It is important to have in mind that planning objectives and indicators are given at the current time.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event5th Nordic Conference on Climate Change Adaptation - Sweden, Nörrköping, Sweden
Duration: 23 Oct 201825 Oct 2018


Conference5th Nordic Conference on Climate Change Adaptation
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