event 13 Feb 2017

Urban Nexus // Connecting the resource nexus to basic urban service provision – with focus on water-energy interactions in New York City

By R.E. Engström, M. Howells, G. Detouni, V. Bhatt, M. Bazilian and H.H. Rogner. Urban water and energy systems are crucial for sustainably meeting basic service demands in cities. This paper proposes and applies a technology-independent “reference resource-to-service system” framework for concurrent evaluation of urban water and energy system interventions and their ‘nexus’ or ‘interlinkages’.

tag Governance (of the Nexus) tag Cities/urban Nexus
9481115690 da7e8e8c5d k new york city
(C) flickr / BKL

In a concrete application, data that approximate New York City conditions are used to evaluate a limited set of interventions in the residential sector, spanning from low-flow toilet shifts to extensive green roof installations.

Results indicate that interventions motivated primarily by water management goals can considerably reduce energy use and contribute to mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. Similarly, energy efficiency interventions can considerably reduce water use in addition to lowering emissions. However, interventions yielding the greatest reductions in energy use and emissions are not necessarily the most water conserving ones, and vice versa. Useful further research, expanding the present analysis should consider a broader set of resource interactions, towards a full climate, land, energy and water (CLEW) nexus approach.

Overall, assessing the impacts, trade-offs and co-benefits from interventions in one urban resource system on others also holds promise as support for increased resource efficiency through integrated decision making.


IIASA website




Sustainable Cities and Society DOI:10.1016/j.scs.2017.02.007


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