Rethinking urban water for new value in cities

Sustainable solutions are no longer a choice for most societies: they’re a must. Especially in our cities. Inside this White Paper you can find case examples of how to rethink urban development and gain greater value from investments in the city’s blue infrastructure.

Sustainable solutions for cities are a must

Cities are growing. Today’s urban population of 3.2 billion will rise to nearly 5 billion by 2030, by which time three out of five people will live in cities. Added to this, many cities face additional pressures of rising sea levels and extreme weather events, bringing with them the risk of flooding and/or periods with little or no water. In dry periods temperatures may rise even further, due to the urban heat island effect.

Sustainable solutions are no longer a choice for most societies: they’re a must. Especially in our cities. We must all strive to balance the quality of people’s lives with sound economic and environmental development.

A clear vision is the key

An integrated approach to water management is the most cost-efficient way and is essential to solving the challenges of increasing urbanisation and climate change faced by many cities. However, to achieve a sustainable society, the urban planning that is required goes beyond the reach of the city authorities and the water utilities alone. What is needed is collaboration among stakeholders. Having a clear vision and common goals is the key to success.

Urban water management must include the intelligent handling of climate change and the identification of potentially attractive urban environments to be created. However, the systematic identification, analysis and evaluation of water-related risks, like flooding, or the potential contamination of drinking water, is also fundamental. Assessment of the possibilities gives a clear picture of where to invest.

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