Climate change and urbanisation are two of the most important trends in the 21st century: they have a global impact on natural resources such as water, on economic development and on the well-being of people. The global population is growing faster than ever and it is the cities, for the most part, that have to absorb the growth. The need for cities to adapt to these trends calls for radical changes in urban water management.

Building social and political awareness

POWER is a client-oriented project that targets the active sharing of knowledge and experience in the fields of water scarcity, flooding, water supply, water quality and water consumption in different European municipalities, as a tool for integrated water policy for the various actors in the water cycle.

Prototype DSP system

Combining social, technological and political innovation into a single, interconnected strategy is frequently a more effective path to solutions for environmental issues than are the traditional beaten tracks of policy-making. Indeed, over the past few years, key environmental challenges have been tackled with a more integrated approach. Social innovation can provide an important impulse for the successful implementation of environmental policy. These elements play an important role within POWER, which builds upon earlier research at Utrecht University into flood risk governance, KWR’s City Blueprints, and urban climate adaptation policy. POWER is developing a general prototype for a Digital Social Platform (DSP) which will be demonstrated in four European cities. POWER also makes intensive use of assessment methods, such as City Blueprint.


Promotion of social innovation

POWER’s objective is to promote social innovation, so that citizens become more actively and consciously engaged in environmental questions, planning and decision-making, and environmental policy can be more effectively implemented.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.