The PolyUrbanWaters project aims to provide innovative and transferable tools that support water-sensitive, sustainable, and climate-resilient urban transformation in Southeast Asia and localization of the 2030 Agenda.

In addressing complex urban development dynamics, climate change, and limited financial and institutional capacity, the PolyUrbanWaters collaborative project is developing an approach to mainstream water as a cross-cutting issue in urban development across sectors. The project aims to improve water-related basic services and strengthen the resilience of medium-sized and smaller cities in Southeast Asia to climate change. The project's pilot cities of Sam Neua (Laos), Sleman (Indonesia), and Kratie (Cambodia) are representative of Southeast Asian cities with populations up to 3 million.

As a trans-disciplinary research collaboration, with partners from academia, civil society institutions, city administrations, government institutions and praxis, PolyUrbanWaters is working on the thematic focus areas of water-sensitive urban planning and infrastructure, sustainable municipal basic services, climate adaptation, and integrated land and water resource management.

Following the principle of "progressive implementation" recommended by the United Nations, polycentric approaches to water-sensitive infrastructure development and urban water resource management are identified in different governance settings, which enables the specification of the concept of "resilience" in the field of urban development.

The spectrum of activities includes field research, scenario development and the promotion of sustainable capacities. The tools developed in "Living Labs" allow urban development actors to initiate and design holistic and modular water-sensitive transformation processes in the context of urban co-production. The experience gained and the results of the work are used to strengthen the technical and methodological capacities of practice-oriented scientific processes. A contribution to scientific discourse formation in the regional context can be made and the dialogue with politics stimulated. The goal is to ensure effective water-related municipal services for all citizens, to counteract the increasing pressure on urban water resources, and to reduce the threats posed by climate change.

Project lead:

Dr. Bernd Gutterer
Am Deich 45
28199 Bremen

Tel.: +49 175 2076637
E-Mail: gutterer@borda.org

Project partners:

  • TH Köln
  • TU Berlin
  • AKSANSI (Indonesien)
  • Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta
  • Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok
  • Cambodian Institute for Urban Studies
  • Public Works and Transport Research Institute, Laos
  • Vietnam Academy for Water Resources

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