Towards water smart cities: climate adaptation is a huge opportunity to improve the quality of life in cities.

Published online
15 Mar 2017
Content type

Hattum, T. van & Blauw, M. & Jensen, M. B. & Bruin, K. de

Publication language
Denmark & Netherlands & Nordic Countries


This paper discusses the Water Smart City (WSC) approach. 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, wastewater management and water supply to cope with societal challenges related to climate change, resource efficiency and energy transition, to minimize 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). Further, the paper provides details on WSC solutions and benefits, as well as barriers for implementation and road map towards WSC. Finally, the paper includes case studies in the Netherlands and Denmark, depicting WSC.

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