Insights and future directions of transdisciplinary practice in the urban water sector

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Bringing together stakeholders with different backgrounds and interests to create new understandings and relationships is essential to advance the sustainable management of urban water. This is a transdisciplinary challenge, with multiple benefits but also obstacles and uncertainties in its applicability. Although transdisciplinary practice is believed to be desirable to enable sustainable urban water management, its role is not clear. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to provide insights into transdisciplinary practice in the urban water sector, highlighting advances and research gaps. This analysis draws upon a scoping process from 1970 until now. It concludes that little research explores transdisciplinary practice in the urban water sector. Future research is necessary into organizational processes, disciplinary dynamics, and strategies applied by water practitioners to bring stakeholders together and achieve transdisciplinary practice in the design and implementation of urban water projects. These future directions of research are relevant to water practitioners dealing with urban water management and could lead to the development of practical guidelines to facilitate transdisciplinary practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251–263
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Environmental Studies and Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Transdisciplinary practice
  • Transdisciplinary research
  • Urban water management
  • Water practitioners

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