Factsheet #43

Intermunicipial exchange increasing urban water retention

Instrument Type


Governance Level


Governance Mode


Water management topics addressed

Drought & water scarcity
Water abstraction for irrigation and other economic activities
Water quality issues due to nutrient pollution
Water quality issues: Other reasons

Implementation requirements

Financial capacity


Human capacity


Political buy-in


Timeframe for implementation


#43: Intermunicipial exchange increasing urban water retention


Inter-municipial exchange between cities and within cities administration regarding water sensitive cities and increasing urban water retention via cross-sectoral and municipal planning approaches.


Water managment has a relevant role for urban development and design. Water sensitive planning can help to implement climate adaptation measures effectively. Also the establishing of green and blue corridors, decentral buffering of flash floods, sustainable urban design strategies are key components of climate adaptation, mitigation and urban landscape design. Integrative planning approaches (cross-sectoral, cross-municipal) can reduce risks from flash floods and urban heat effects.

Example: Future Initiative "Water in the city of tomorrow" in the Emscher Catchment, Germany

The Future Initiative aims to enable intercommunal exchange between municipalities to effectively implement urgent tasks arising from climate adaptation measures. Measures for ecological urban development include connecting green corridors and water axes, temperature-regulating water surfaces, decentralised buffer and storage areas for retaining heavy rainfall. The Initiative established a number of formats for regular exchange between stakeholders, e.g. working groups of city authorities within the Emscher catchment focusing on specific topics, regular public conferences. Important milestones of the Initiative were the signing of a Memorandum of understanding through the cities and concrete steps and measures agreed in political decisions and bilateral cooperation agreements.


Emschergenossenschaft (2020). Wasser in der Stadt von Morgen. http://www.wasser-in-der-stadt.de/ Retrieved 24 September 2020.

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