Urban water management tools

Over the next decades cities will experience a number of megatrends. In order to render the sustainability of the urban water cycle visible, a great deal of effort has been invested over the past few years in developing and implementing an indicator system as a baseline assessment of the quality of urban water cycles. The resulting tool is called City Blueprint.


City Blueprint consists of 25 quality indicators and has [per March 2016] been implemented in 50 cities, both within and outside the Netherlands. Moreover, Witteveen+Bos recently developed a cost-benefit tool – the MKBA Stad – with which the costs and benefits can be determined for the improvement of the quality indicators of a city’s water cycle.


This project [which has now been completed] involves the further elaboration of the benefits tool tailored to the urban water cycle, so as to connect City Blueprint and the benefits tool, as an additional step in furthering the sustainability of the urban water cycle. The project will flesh out two aspects: (1) the assessment of a number of European cities with City Blueprint, following the work that Siemens conducted in the past on the European Green City Index, and (2) the implementation of the benefits tool for urban water, based on the Measure to Quality to Benefit framework.

The combination of City Blueprint and the MKBA Stad tool to form an Urban Water Management Benefits tool ensures that truly sustainable choices can be made which stakeholders are willing to act on. Concretely, this project delivers two results, which give the project partners better insight into the possibilities of the connections between measures, qualities, benefits and earnings models; namely: (1) an extension of work on cities, and (2) the implementation of the MKBA tool in a specific situation in Amsterdam and Eindhoven.

The project started in the spring of 2013 and concluded in May 2014. The results were presented in the final report, ‘Urban Water Management Tools’, in which City Blueprint+ based on benefits is described and applied to Eindhoven and Amsterdam. The final report also contains an overview, prepared for the European Innovation Partnership on Water, of the City Blueprints of 25 cities and regions. More information is available at