UWMH focuses on Research and Innovation activities undertaken within the framework of National and European Research and Development projects and find their way into practice through the provision of consultancy services



    DURATION: 01.02.2015 to 31.01.2017

    BUDGET: 12,375.00€/ 995,918.75€

    FUNDING: H2020 WATER, Coordination & Support Action Dissemination and exploitation, ICT, knowledge, gaps, research needs, etc



    BlueSCities: Blueprints for Smart Cities-Developing the methodology for a coordinated approach to the Integration of the Water and Waste Sectors within the EIP Smart Cities & Communities, was a two year H2020 Coordination and Support Action project funded by WATER Dissemination and exploitation, ICT, knowledge, gaps, research needs topic. The project was based on the successful implementation of the EIP Water Action Group: City Blueprints. The project consortium, composed of 12 partners from 9 different countries have developed a complete methodology designed to facilitate a coordinated approach to the integration of the water and waste sectors within the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) of the European Innovation Platform for Smart Cities and Communities. By placing emphasis on local solutions for global issues, BlueSCities further sought to improve local public awareness and engagement capacities whilst enhancing decision-making processes at all political levels based on scientific knowledge and adequate social and economic involvement.


    The twelve partners of the BlueSCities project, led by EURECAT-CTM held the firm conviction, shared by an increasing number of international institutions that the creation of the sustainable society of the future can only become a reality if all relevant sectors and stakeholders are capable of joining forces in establishing a global strategy. In order to be capable of confronting the challenges posed by climate change and the dramatic increase in urban populations around the World, it is necessary to consider all environmental, economic and social factors. The BlueSCities partnership, financed by the HORIZON 2020 programme of the European Union, worked for two years to develop a methodology for the integration of the water and waste sectors within the established ‘Smart Cities and Communities’ approach which had previously been designed exclusively for the implementation of actions concerning energy, transport and ICT. The result was the creation of a BlueSCities package consisting of the City Blueprint, the City Amberprint and the BlueSCities Self-Assessment Software which together with a Revised Practical Guidance Manual constitute an effective, dynamic and accessible mechanism that allows public administrations and other stakeholders in Europe and beyond the possibility of effecting a long-term sustainable urban roadmap which includes water and waste.

    The City Blueprint (Koop and Van Leeuwen, 2015) combined with the City Amberprint are the first attempts to perform a baseline assessment of Integrated Water Resources and Waste Management in cities together with the baseline assessment of Energy, Transport and ICT. It serves as an initial step in the strategic planning process towards climate adaptive and resilient urban water management. The 25 indicators of the City Blueprint performance framework consist of 7 broad categories that together provide a comprehensive and integrated overview of the entire urban water cycle and some insights into MSWM. The indicators are scored between 0 and 10 points (where 0 points means that further attention is needed and 10 points is an excellent score). The indicators are summarized in an overall score, the Blue City Index (BCI). A separate indicator framework provides an important local context regarding the social, environmental and financial trends and pressures that may affect urban water management decisions. The City Amberprint Framework is a complement to the City Blueprint. The main goal of the City Amberprint is a baseline assessment of the sustainability of Energy, Transport and ICT in cities. Each of the indicators has a score between 0 (there is a concern) to 10 (no concern). The quantitative indicators were normalised on a scale from 0 to 10, where 10 points were assigned to cities that met or exceeded certain criteria on environmental sustainability. The visual representation of the City Amberprint is a radar chart. The overall score of sustainability is expressed as Amber City Index (ACI). The ACI is the geometric mean of the 22 indicators.

    The BlueSCities Independent Analysis Software packages are self-assessment cloud based tools created to promote the implementation of the City BluePrint and the City Amberprint indicators. This is a platform which enhances city-to-city learning, the exchange of best practices and is a valuable support for citizen and general stakeholder engagement. Using them, cities can learn important practical lessons from other cities that have already implemented best practices. The two parallel methodologies incorporated into the BlueSCities Software permit target users, both professional and non-professional including municipal administrations to generate a concise, clear and effective analysis of the situation concerning Water and Waste (City Blueprint) and Energy, Transport and ICT (City Amberprint) in any given town or city, so that decision makers can truly appreciate the full global picture. The results reveal at a glance precisely where a municipality’s strong and weak points lie and can serve as the key first step in a local, regional, national or supranational strategic approach so that all stakeholders will be better equipped to create broad, long-term visions in order to plan for the sustainable urban communities of the future. Presented in an easily-accessible format which will permit one to obtain and provide the necessary information in a logical step-by-step procedure, the BlueSCities Independent Analysis Software packages produces visual results which converts it into an effective communication methodology which enables stakeholder engagement, city-to-city learning and the exchange of best practices. The final step is the benchmark for the indicator scores from the rest of participating cities. The anonymized benchmark is calculated from the average from the selectable criteria: country, population, land area, GDP per capita and population density.

    Furthermore, the BlueSCities project produced the Urban Water Atlas for Europe. The official EC publication gathers best-practices of urban water management and demonstrates how cities are addressing the issues to become not only smart, but resilient to the water challenges which lie ahead. It features contributions from over 40 collaborators from 30 countries and describes urban water management in 46 cities from 14 professional perspectives. The book itself has 160 pages and was launched on occasion of the UFM Water Summit held in April, 2017 in Malta where it was presented to the 43 Ministers of the Environment of the EU and UFM member states.

    Read more about BlueSCities’ objectives and results here.


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