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Governance Regime Factors Conducive to Innovation Uptake in Urban Water Management

Governance Regime Factors Conducive to Innovation Uptake in Urban Water Management

Experiences from Europe

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.


Rouillard, Josselin; Vidaurre, Rodrigo; Brouwer, Stijn; Damman, Sigrid; Ponce, Alberto A.; Gerner, Nadine V.; Riegels, Niels; Termes, Montserrat. 2016. "Governance Regime Factors Conducive to Innovation Uptake in Urban Water Management: Experiences from Europe." Water 8, no. 10: 477.

Stijn Brouwer
Sigrid Damman
Alberto Antorán Ponce
Nadine V. Gerner
Niels Riegels
Montserrat Termes
Published In
Water , 2016, 8(10), 477
Project ID
Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. The Governance Assessment Framework
2.2. The Assessment Template
2.3. Data Collection
2.4. Data Analysis
3. Results
3.1. Aarhus Case-Study
3.2. The Emscher Case-Study
3.3. The Zaragoza Case-Study
4. Discussion
4.1. Levels and Scales
4.2. Actors and Networks
4.3. Goals and Ambitions
4.4. Strategies and Instruments
4.5. Resources and Responsibilities
5. Conclusions

transitions, cities, sustainability, adaptation, water governance, Europe, Aarhus, Emscher, Zaragoza, Denmark, Germany, Spain, case study