Transforming cities through water-sensitive principles and practices

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many global cities and towns are facing complex and interrelated challenges associated with population growth, resource constraints, aging infrastructure, and degraded environments, exacerbated by increasing climate uncertainty. The United Nation's Agenda 2030 is a global call to action with 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Water is the common currency linking nearly every SDG. SDG 11 aspires to “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable” and the water-sensitive city represents an aspirational future state for water management where servicing strategies deliver long-term sustainability, liveability, resilience, and prosperity. This social-technical endeavor is based on three principles of practice proposed in 2009. They have since been operationalized and adapted in many projects globally, and across a range of social, institutional, and biophysical contexts. In this Perspective, we reflect on lessons learned, required actions for mainstreaming water-sensitive practices, the next-wave research agenda, and opportunities to catalyze actions in sectors beyond water. The water-sensitive city represents an aspirational future state for water management to ensure long-term sustainability, liveability, resilience, and prosperity. Over the past decade, the principles for water-sensitive practice have been operationalized in projects globally, and across a wide range of social, institutional, and biophysical contexts. An overview of these projects, lessons learnt, and actions for mainstreaming water-sensitive practices are presented. The article proposes an emerging research agenda and explores opportunities to catalyze actions in sectors beyond water.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436-447
Number of pages12
JournalOne Earth
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • hybrid systems
  • interdisciplinary
  • sustainable development
  • transformative cities
  • urban water management
  • water-sensitive cities

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