While the challenge may be predictable, the future visions put forward by the UK Water Partnership are not, they embrace the physical, digital and social fabric of our city to ensure both effective water supply and a resilient and liveable city. The five future visions, presented by lead-experts, pitch innovative but plausible solutions to city water management from city food production through to floating infrastructures and hi-tech sensors and robotics.
Five future visions for water in cities:
- Green Food and Garden Cityscapes: Sensitive urban design and highly monitored 'systems of systems' support city food production and green city landscapes.
- Flood Proof Cities: A combination of engineering, green infrastructure and nature-based solutions are used to reduce exposure to sea-level rise and extreme weather events.
- Smart Homes and City Networks: City digital data-hubs harness the internet, sensors and citizen participation to deliver optimal economic efficiency and environmental performance to provide utility services.
- Cities and the Underworld: Infrastructure is increasing built underground in cities and the subsurface is utilised to deliver effective drainage, water, heating and cooling.
- Community Transition Cities: Utilities support resource stewardship in communities actively transitioning towards sustainable habits and practice.
Water research for our future cities - what the experts think:
'We need to value our water infrastructure more...' Sir Mark Walport
'Bring together the boundaries between science and engineering and make sure we meet the challenges together for a sustainable and resilient future.' Dr Helen Reeves, British Geological Survey
'We need to engrain and scale up dissemination of science research and integrate into mainstream industry, in a language and format that is accessible and readable. the digital era brings lots of opportunity but lots of noise and we need to make sure the science research cuts through the noise.' Briony Turner, ARCC Network
'We should consider water as an element of a number of systems within cities, how does water impact those systems. We should look at the interface of water with energy, IT etc. to understand how powerful water is in the city, which in turn will lead to a number of innovative business models.' Prof Chris Rogers, University of Birmingham
'We need to make sure the baseline data is sufficiently robust to support multidisciplinary research and an integrated approach...' Peter Bide, Independent
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UK Water Partnerships Thought Piece 'Future Visions for Water and Cities'
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