Saturday, January 8, 2011


Christoph Lüthi, Jennifer McConville, Anna Norström, Arne Panesar,Rahul Ingle, Darren Saywell, and Thorsten Schütze


Sustainable urban sanitation presents one of the most significant service delivery challenges related to poverty alleviation and sustainable development in the decades to come. To illustrate what putting sustainable sanitation into practice realistically means is crucial. In the developed world, the challenge is to initiate a transition from disposal oriented, water-based infrastructure regimes towards more sustainable, reuse oriented, and productive sanitation regimes. Decentralised approaches to “productive sanitation” (including e.g. the production of biogas, fertilizer, water for irrigation, etc.) with a source-separation focus (separation of flow streams with different properties) allow for considerable cost and resource savings and are thereby increasing sustainable. In the developing world, the sanitation challenge is about leapfrogging dead-end approaches and technologies as an opportunity, especially for those areas which are currently without sanitation services, and to overcome the huge service backlog. This paper gives an initial overview of the current state of urban sanitation with a North-South perspective, followed by a discussion of the new role of sustainable sanitation systems in future eco-cities. Planning innovations for urban sanitation, initial lessons learned and current challenges faced are addressed. Context specific challenges and opportunities are illustrated in a variety of urban settings, from non-tenured low-income settlements (slums) to middle- and high-income inner-city areas, to stimulate action on the ground.

more articles about urban environment:

Toward Low Carbon Cities: Madrid and London

Urbanization, Urban Environment and Land Use: Challenges and Opportunities

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