SWITCH: Managing Water for the City of the Future

Managing Water for the City of the Future

The SWITCH Approach to Strategic Planning

SWITCH – About us

The main goal of SWITCH was finding new solutions to increase the efficiency of urban water systems through rethinking old paradigms and developing new solutions. To achieve this goal SWITCH improved the scientific basis and shared knowledge to ensure that future water systems are robust, flexible and adaptable to a range of global change pressures.

A major outcome of the SWITCH project is the development of the ‘SWITCH approach’, that is envisaged to cause a ‘switch’ in urban water management practices, of cities towards sustainability. The SWITCH project adopted a “grey to green” approach, recognising that green infrastructure (like parks and clean rivers) is not only “nice to have”, but also provides “the environmental foundation that underpins the function, health and character of urban communities” (CABE, 2009). The key features of the SWITCH approach are:

By adopting a demand-led approach, SWITCH has been able to speed up the process of identification, development, and uptake of solutions related to urban water management. Based on the ‘SWITCH approach’, new solutions have been developed for urban water management which are based on key concepts of urban water management that include: resilience of urban water systems to global change pressures; interventions over the entire urban water cycle; governance and financial management structures, covering the entire urban water cycle; reconsideration of the way water is used (and reused); and greater application of natural systems for water and wastewater treatment.