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The necessity of Urban Water Cycle Services (UWCS) adapting to future stresses calls for changes that take sustainability into account. Megatrends (e.g. population growth, water scarcity, pollution and climate change) pose urgent water challenges in cities. In a previous paper, a set of indicators, i.e., the City Blueprint has been developed to assess the sustainability ofUWCS. In this paper this approach has been applied in 9 cities and regions in Europe (Amsterdam, Algarve, Athens, Bucharest, Hamburg, Reggio Emilia, Rotterdam, Oslo and Cities of Scotland) and in 2 African cities in Angola (Kilamba Kiaxi) and Tanzania (Dar es Salaam). The assessments showed that cities vary considerably with regard to the sustainability of theUWCS. This is also captured in the Blue City Index (BCI), the arithmetic mean of 24 indicators comprising the City Blueprint. Theoretically, the BCI has a minimum score of 0 and a maximum score of 10. The actual BCIs in the 11 cities studied varied from 3.31 (Kilamba Kiaxi) to 7.72 (Hamburg). The BCI was positively correlated with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per person, the ambitions of the local authorities regarding the sustainability of the UWCS, the voluntary participation index (VPI) and all governance indicators according to the World Bank. The study demonstrated that the variability in sustainability among the UWCS of cities offers great opportunities for short-term and long-term improvements, provided that cities share their best practices. Open access repository: http://hdl.handle.net/10251/34584
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