Envisioning Blue Cities: Urban Water Governance and Water Footprinting

Christopher M. Chini, Ashlynn S. Stillwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Urban water governance is a framework for addressing critical issues in cities' water resources by creating a more inclusive policy for sustainable transitions. Beyond the physical or direct water resources available to cities, there are water resources embedded within the imported food, energy, electricity, and other materials required for urban life and growth. Combined, these two types of water resources create the water footprint of a city. Expanding the framework of urban water governance to promote a sustainable water footprint is necessary for advancing urban environments in the face of climate change and resource constraints. We discuss the need for open-access data to transition toward a sustainable urban water governance system, considering both direct and indirect resources. This discussion builds on existing literature and asserts a broader goal of achieving a blue city. To this end, we identify a few attributes of the Boston, Massachusetts Metropolitan Area to highlight data and governance opportunities for both its direct and indirect water resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04020001
JournalJournal of Water Resources Planning and Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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