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Water 2016, 8(10), 477; doi:10.3390/w8100477

Governance Regime Factors Conducive to Innovation Uptake in Urban Water Management: Experiences from Europe

1
Ecologic Institute, Berlin D-10717, Germany
2
KWR Watercycle Research Institute, Nieuwegein 3430 BB, The Netherlands
3
SINTEF (Stiftelsen for Industriell og Teknisk Forskning), Trondheim NO-7465, Norway
4
CETAQUA (Centro Tecnológio de Agua) and Business and Economics Faculty of University of Barcelona, Barcelona 08940, Spain
5
Emschergenossenschaft, Essen 45128, Germany
6
DHI (Danish Hydraulic Institute), Hørsholm 2970, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ataur Rahman
Received: 5 July 2016 / Revised: 16 September 2016 / Accepted: 17 October 2016 / Published: 24 October 2016
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Abstract

Innovative ways to manage the urban water cycle are required to deal with an ageing drinking and waste water infrastructure and new societal imperatives. This paper examines the influence of water governance in enabling transformations and technological innovation uptake in urban water management. A governance assessment framework is developed and applied in three case-studies, examining different scales and types of innovations used to tackle challenges in European urban water management. The methodology combines documentary analysis and interviews to reconstruct historical storylines of the shift in the water governance of urban water management for each site. The research provides detailed empirical observations on the factors conducive to innovation uptake at the local level. Critical governance factors such as commitment to compromise, the necessity to build political support, and the role of “entrepreneurs” and coalitions are highlighted. The paper also explores the role of discursive strategies and partnership design, as well as that of regulative, economic and communicative instruments, in creating barriers and opportunities to initiate and secure change. A number of recommendations targeted at innovators and water managers are presented in the conclusion. View Full-Text
Keywords: transitions; cities; sustainability; adaptation; water governance transitions; cities; sustainability; adaptation; water governance
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rouillard, J.; Vidaurre, R.; Brouwer, S.; Damman, S.; Ponce, A.A.; Gerner, N.V.; Riegels, N.; Termes, M. Governance Regime Factors Conducive to Innovation Uptake in Urban Water Management: Experiences from Europe. Water 2016, 8, 477.

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