The project work plan revolves around six work-packages: one devoted to management, two to stakeholders engagement and dissemination and three (WP2-WP4 being of a technical nature). Management will last for the entire duration of the project under the guidance of CTM, with REDINN and KWR playing an important role in quality assurance (to make sure that project activities and deliverables meet appropriate quality standards).
WP2 intends to progress from an accurate mapping of the current situation in Europe (including the characterisation of regulatory aspects affecting water and waste management in urban settings throughout the EU) to extensive knowledge of water and waste related practices, in order to facilitate the design and delivery of an independent analysis software, which will function as a tool to help city managers and other policy makers to assess their cities’ level of compliance with “blueprints” principles on water and waste management. While WP2 sets a generic framework for evaluation, WP3 deals with concrete and detailed case studies touching upon four different large cities representatives of different European regions: Athens (GR), Genoa (IT), Helsinki (FI) and Istanbul (TR). An in-depth analysis of the water and waste integration situation and potential in those cities is carried out according to a common methodology, so as to allow quantitative and qualitative benchmarking. Case studies will be completed through interviews and should provide an example of a methodological approach that is potentially extensible to other urban settings in Europe.
WP4 brings together knowledge gained from work in WP2 and WP3, to elaborate a practical guidance document for city managers, regional, national and international authorities and the EIP Smart Cities and Communities on efficient ways of managing and integrating water and waste policies and technical solutions. While this document integrates input deriving from the overview of European practices and from the in-depth analysis carried out in the four case studies, it also feeds into the formulation of recommendations and provides the basis for two different types of training sessions, to be organised at the JRC headquarters in Ispra, targeting four different stakeholders groups.
WP5 deals with strategic activities aiming at positioning the BlueSCities initiative within a wider political landscape in the EU and internationally. It aims at enlarging the international network of cities adopting the Blueprint approach, raising consensus within the EU and in broader policy circles, and it covers activities orientated to raising citizens’ awareness by endowing Blueprint cities with a common approach to raise people’s participation in policies and choices on water and waste management. Activities in the international arena, beyond the boundaries of the Union, are key to a push towards common standards of water and waste management worldwide. Aside from meeting widespread environmental concerns, these can reinforce the EU’s position as a provider of environmental state of the art technologies, thus strengthening the competitiveness of European business in the water, waste and Smart City sectors. To further consensus and visibility, a BlueSCities award will be launched (to be continued also after project completion), acknowledging significant efforts and results obtained by European cities in water and waste management and integration.
The whole project will be supported by a strong and well-coordinated dissemination activity. The project website will function as an initial access to key information about the initiative and will establish appropriate links and exchange of information with other projects, programmes and sources of information. BlueSCities partners will take part in conferences, seminars and other events as ambassadors of the Blueprint approach and a final conference will be organised in Brussels, to present the main achievements of the project and its legacy (policy recommendations, enlargement of the international network of cities and the award concept) for the future.