The City Blueprint - a 360° view on water management in cities

Urban Water Atlas
The Urban Water Atlas

The Urban Water Atlas for Europe shows how different water management choices, as well as other factors such as waste management, climate change and even our food preferences, affect the long-term sustainability of water use in our cities. The backbone of the Atlas - the City Blueprint - was provided by Utrecht University and the KWR Watercycle Research Institute.

The new atlas illustrates the role of water in European cities and informs citizens as well as local authorities and experts about good practices and cutting-edge developments that can contribute to ensuring that water is used more efficiently and sustainably, helping to save this valuable resource. Detailed factsheets in the Urban Water Atlas for Europe present the state of water management in more than 40 European cities and regions, together with a number of overseas examples.

'City Blueprint' shows performance in water management

The atlas provides an overall 'City Blueprint' for each city. This is a composite index, developed by Utrecht University and KWR, that displays 25 indicators related to water, waste and climate change in one infographic, summarising at a glance how well a city currently manages its urban water resources. This information is important to help identify priorities for further action and investment, but also to visualise strengths and weaknesses. The 'Blue City Index' is the overall score based on these 25 indicators.

Of the researched cities, Amsterdam has the highest Blue City Index score. The municipality pays a lot of attention to quality of life and has an ambitious climate and energy programme.  Amsterdam has always taken a lead in national and international water management, and is strong in wastewater treatment and climate change adaptation. Reduction of solid waste production is indicated as a potential area of improvement for the city.

City Blueprint Amsterdam
The City Blueprint contains indicators like groundwater quality (3), access to drinking water (7) and average age sewer (14).