Water for smart Livable cities: How rethinking urban water management can transform cities of the future

State of Green, Peter Steen Mikkelsen (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportReportCommunication

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Good water management can make cities healthier places to live, resilient towards climate change and more sustainable overall. Without proper sanitation, sewerage and clean water supply, there is no liveable city. Placing water at the core of the city’s urban planning and investments creates a strong foundation for sustainable growth. When urban planners and water managers join hands, it increases chances of developing long-term solutions, which successfully integrate the role of water with the needs of both local citizens and nature.

Ensuring sustainable water supply and wastewater treatment in cities
Urban population growth is increasingly putting pressure on urban water supply. In order to overcome water stress, knowledge of quantity and quality of available water resourc-es is important. A well-maintained pipe network constructed of high quality materials is also essential and digitalisation and data utilisation can increase efficiency of supply.

Urban population growth also means wastewater treatment plants must treat an increasing volume of wastewater. Sewage collection and treatment systems play a key role in creating liveable cities and enables water related recreational activities such as harbour baths. Finally, wastewater treatment can supply the city with green energy and recovery of scarce resources.

Stormwater management contributes to both resilience and liveability Climate change is putting increasing pressure on wastewater infrastructure in cities around the world. A common challenge is to ensure sufficient capacity in the sewer systems to prevent overflows in times of heavy rain. A combination of solutions are often needed to prepare cities for extreme weather events. When stormwater management is integrated in urban planning and design it can lead to increased resilience to climate change, efficiency, liveability and a sense of place for urban communities.

Activities in the open land outside the city also has an enormous impact on the city itself. Strong cooperation with different stakeholders at basin scale can enable joint decision making across administrative boundaries.

Digital transformation, urban water governance and partnerships
Digitalisation of urban water management increases transparency, innovation and liveability. New technologies and innovative solutions go hand-in-hand with regulation and organisational development. Successful water management requires strong governance structures. In addition to environmental standards, regulation of the water sector needs to include a focus on financing mechanism, water prices and transparency.

Working together in partnerships when developing water solutions for smart and live-able cities often leads to more innovative and efficient solutions and ultimately improves the framework for innovation and prosperity.

Find inspiration for your own urban water projects
This white paper features lessons learned from different Danish stakeholders within urban water management. It is meant to serve as a tool for inspiration for creating inno-vative water solutions, which contribute to smarter and more liveable cities.

More white papers about water related topics will continuously be made available at www.stateofgreen.com/publications
Original languageEnglish
PublisherState of Green
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 2021
SeriesWhite Papers for a Green Transition


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