“Water for Smart Liveable Cities” White Paper

Without proper sanitation, sewerage and clean water supply, there is no liveable city. Placing water at the core of the city’s urban planning and investments creates a strong foundation for sustainable growth. This is one of the key takeaways from the white paper “Water for Smart Liveable Cities” – the brand-new publication from State of Green and IWA Denmark ahead of the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition in Copenhagen 9-14 May 2021.

The projection for the future is a world’s population growth of up to 9.725 billion by 2050.  The World Health Organisation estimates, that the projection of percentage of the world’s population living in urban areas will increase to up to 60% in 2030 and to 66% by 2050 while a hundred years ago, it was only 10%. To ensure cities to be liveable and sustainable places for all, water plays a critical role.

As the Danish Minister for Environment, Lea Wermelin, writes in the foreword: “I believe water is the key to creating cities that are both sustainable and attractive places to live. Caring for the environment while managing well-functioning cities that are resilient, healthy and attractive places to live is a challenge facing cities all over the world – but it also represents opportunities.”

The “Water for Smart Liveable Cities” white paper takes a closer look at how rethinking urban water management can transform the cities of the future. It is meant to serve as a tool for inspiration for creating innovative water solutions, which contribute to smarter and more liveable cities.

The white paper focuses on solutions towards ensuring sustainable water supply and wastewater treatment in cities, stormwater management that contributes to climate change resilience and digital transformation, urban water governance and partnerships

New technologies and innovative solutions go hand-in-hand with regulation and organisational development as successful water management requires strong governance structures. Working together in partnerships when developing water solutions for smart and liveable cities often leads to more innovative and efficient solutions and ultimately improves the framework for innovation and prosperity.

This White Paper publication points out the importance for urban planners and water managers to join forces. The combined work of these professionals can increase the chances of developing long-term solutions, which successfully integrate the role of water with the needs of both local citizens and nature.

The white paper will be launched in an online discussion on the 24th November 2021. The discussion will unfold interesting lessons on urban water management learned from the Danish water sector. Speakers will present experiences from selected Danish utilities, consultancies and technology providers related to the Congress topic: Water for smart liveable cities.

One of the speakers, IWA Congress President, Anders Bækgaard, states “When you come to Denmark for the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition in May next year, you will not only experience the legacy of Hans Christian Andersen and the Little Mermaid. You will also meet a dedicated water community with a long tradition for working together to create innovative and safe water solutions for smart, liveable cities.”


the white paper
Water for Smart Liveable Cities






Launch event

At the IWA Congress Talk on the occasion of the launch of the White Paper “Water for Smart Liveable Cities” looks into technical solutions, the enabling environment, and discusses the role of digitalisation towards liveable cities. The discussions will have an introductory form, including pitches of digital solutions and case study presentations on service provision and urban transformation.

The launch will take place on 24 November 2020 at 11h00 CET. Register here


Read more about State of Green Denmark here.



About the IWA #WorldWaterCongress & Exhibition

The IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition is the global event for water professionals covering the full water cycle. As the Congress rotates through cities and countries each event has an extra emphasis on issues of specific interest to the region.

The Congress attracts leading professionals and companies from across the water sector, including thought leaders from within and outside the water sector. Together they create new insights into how pioneering science, technological innovation and leading practices shape water management.

Join us in Copenhagen at the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition in May 9-14 2021.

Follow on social media: #worldwatercongress