The Water and Urban Initiative is a research project at the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), a leading research and teaching institute dedicated to advancing efforts towards a more sustainable future. Based in Tokyo, the institute’s research activities focus on three thematic areas: sustainable societies, natural capital and biodiversity, and global change and resilience.
As an integral part of UNU-IAS work on transformations towards sustainable societies, WUI aims to contribute to sustainable urban development by creating scientific tools to forecast the future state of urban water environments. The project also seeks to contribute to capacity development aimed at improving urban water environments in developing countries in Asia by focusing on population growth, urbanization and low-carbon measures.
The primary goal of this initiative is to develop and use scientific research to assess the value of sustainable water environments in urban areas, especially in Asia. Simulation models are being developed to project various elements of future urban water environments (e.g., water quality, urban flooding), and to estimate the benefits of improving them. The research findings generated through the interdisciplinary approach of WUI fill an important gap in global understanding of urban water environments and contribute to improved policy making in this key area.