The city blueprint: experiences with the implementation of 24 indicators to assess the sustainability of the urban water cycle

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

A set of indicators, i.e. the city blueprint, has been developed to assess the sustainability of the water cycle (SWC). The city blueprint comprises a set of 24 dedicated indicators divided over eight categories, i.e. water security, water quality, drinking water, sanitation, infrastructure, climate robustness, biodiversity and attractiveness and governance including public participation. The city blueprint can be used as a first step or quick-scan to benchmark the SWC in cities and may help: (1) to communicate a city's SWC performance and exchange experiences, (2) to select appropriate water supply and sanitation strategies, (3) to develop technological and non-technological options as future alternatives for the water cycle, where several possible changes in the use of technology, space and socio-economic scenarios can be introduced. This should finally lead to: (4) a selection of measures, including an evaluation of their costs and benefits under different development scenarios, and how to integrate these in long-term planning on urban investments. So far, a city blueprint has been made for the city of Rotterdam. This study reports on three other cities, i.e. two Dutch cities (Maastricht and Venlo) and one city in a developing country (Dar es Salaam in Tanzania). Experiences so far and further plans will be discussed.

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