Celebrating World Cities Day: Building stronger connections with citizens

World Cities Day, celebrated annually on October 31st, is a day to celebrate the incredible impact that urbanisation has on our global society. This day provides a unique opportunity to reflect on the growth, opportunities, and challenges of cities worldwide.

More importantly, it emphasises the vital link between cities and their citizens.

Cities are not just urban landscapes; they are communities shaped by the individuals who call them home. In return, cities impact the lives of their residents positively, whether through improved infrastructure, green spaces, high-quality water sources, or better access to education and healthcare.

In this context, it becomes evident that governments and communities must collaborate to build sustainable and livable cities capable of preparing for, preventing, and responding to the ongoing global challenges.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 11, unambiguously highlight the need of building inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities as a cornerstone of global development.

This goal aligns with the vision of World Cities Day, urging us to work collectively to create cities that truly serve and enhance the lives of their residents.

How can D4runoff, REWAISE and RESEAU projects contribute to the global goals and benefit citizens’ life?

D4runoff aims to tackle water pollution coming from urban stormwater. In order to  identify the water pollutants and improve the water quality in our cities, D4runoff develops different technologies to achieve this goal, Therefore, the project will work on novel detection methods and sensors to identify and monitor CECs and new pollutants, create a new multi-criteria methodology combining existing and new Nature Based Solutions and an AI platform for better water management and risks prevention from authorities.

The approach of the REWAISE project consists of the creation of a new “smart-water” ecosystem through an intelligent digital framework for decentralised water services and decision-making. REWAISE counts on living labs and competency groups where technology and innovation are being implemented in communities to benefit their inhabitants in a more direct way. This way, real-world technological innovation business models and new governance methods, that will contribute to a secure water supply for Europe, are already being put into practice.

LIFE RESEAU seeks to diminish the discharge of untreated stormwater overflows into water bodies in regions susceptible to heavy precipitation, with the potential to achieve a reduction of up to 100%. This ambitious objective is pursued through the retrofitting of the treatment plants and the development of software tools to acquire insights into the operation of sewer networks.

The integration of innovative new treatment technologies, specifically Advanced Biofilm Reactors, into existing Wastewater Treatment Plants enhances their capacity without necessitating the construction of new infrastructures, while the monitoring and control system evaluates the impacts of stormwater and infiltration on combined sewer networks, optimizing their operation and enabling the assessment of climate change scenarios.

Through our innovative technologies, AI tools and business models we aim to address the citizens’ needs by:

  • Ensuring high quality of water in our cities;
  • Preventing flooding and water pollution;
  • Consulting with local authorities for more green spaces and infrastructure;
  • Creating a Water-Smart Society; 
  • Providing solutions towards the circularity of water; 
  • Raising awareness based on data evidence on the challenges faced by existing water infrastructures; 
  • Adapting existing infrastructures instead of building new ones starting from scratch, saving land use and costs.

In conclusion

World Cities Day serves as a reminder of the crucial role that urbanisation plays in our global society and the interconnectedness between cities and their citizens.

The D4runoff, REWAISE, and LIFE RESEAU projects are actively contributing to these global goals and striving to enhance the lives of city residents. They exemplify the potential for technology and innovation to create more livable, sustainable, and resilient cities for all.

#WorldCitiesDay2023 #WCD2023

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