A well-functioning system for water and sanitation must address the needs of under-served urban residents. Eden Mati-Mwangi shows how a systems-change approach can have a lasting impact on Kenya’s sanitations sector.
Water & Sanitation
Drawing on examples from China and India, Betsy Otto, Xiaotian Fu, and Sahana Goswami from the World Resource Institute present the benefits of circular economy approaches in urban wastewater treatment.
Creating urban spaces that allow for the free flow and penetration of water and wind is essential to the survival of water-based cities like Bangkok. “Landscape porosity” can help us better understand and defend these urban ecosystems in times of climate change, says Kotchakorn Voraakhom.
The waste produced by cities does not need to be dumped – but instead can become the starting point of a new production cycle, argues Nick Jeffries from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Water as a common resource that no one should derive profit from – an idea that stands in crass contrast to privatising urban water management. Kostas Nikolaou, professor and activist with the Greek water movement K136, portrays their successful fight against privatisation.
With cities continuously more threatened by climate change induced disasters, urban planning's reflex response is to protect cities against nature. But what if the solution lies in working with nature instead against it? Architect Kongjiang Yu invites our readers to imagine what cities could look like if they took into account ancient wisdom on spatial planning.
The traditional relief-rehabilitation-development paradigm does not hold true in urban conflict zones. A combined approach of long-term support for systems reinforcing short-term support for individuals would meet people’s needs, secure development gains, and represent value for money. The cost of failing to adapt is simply too high, argues Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Water is a central issue for urban development in Mexico. Groundwater is overexploited, and there is a lack of wastewater treatment facilities. Jorge Silva reviews government programmes that aim to solve the problem.
More than one third of Vietnam's population is living in cities, requiring effective sanitation and stormwater services. Yet their provision is limited, with an estimation of less than 10 per cent of wastewater being treated in urban areas. Sebastian Malter argues that a diversification of drainage systems will support sustainable urban development.
The Forgotten Water – The Role of Decentralised Wastewater Management in Jakarta’s Socio-Ecological System
Jakarta has responded to regular flooding by proposing gigantic infrastructure projects such as sea walls to keep the water at bay. But the main problem is that the city does not consider the land-water ecosystem as a whole, says Prathiwi W. Putri.
Ecosystem loss and degradation contributes to water insecurity worldwide – natural infrastructure strategies that protect and restore natural systems aim to halt and reverse this trend. Suzanne Ozment and Rafael Feltran-Barbieri discuss how water utilities can profit from restoring ecosystems.
How can digitalisation of urban services increase sustainable urbanisation? What different approaches and innovations already exist and have proven successful? Kala Vairavamoorthy, director of the International Water Association addresses these questions.
In urban settlements around the world, city administrations struggle, and often fail, to provide essential services, safe spaces, and socio-economic securities to residents. While this poses difficulties and dangers to all inhabitants, the consequences of such neglect are especially severe for low-income women and girls.
Lagos is suffering from severe water shortage due to profit-oriented politics. Akinbode Oluwafemi points out the conflicts and problems around the privatisation of the water sector and offers alternative solutions for one of the world’s most populous cities.
Windhoek—the capital city of Namibia, the most arid country in Sub-Saharan Africa—has long met its severe water challenges through innovation. But its growing population is increasing its demand for water while climate change exacerbates scarce supplies. On the occation of World Water Day 2018, Pierre van Rensburg highlights the city's innovative augmentation strategies to keep the crisis from becoming a catastrophe.