Each network of circular cities that is set up within the framework of InC2 shall operate according to the action principles defined for this instrument and focus predominantly on one of the four priority themes identified:
urban water cycle
Water is an essential strategic resource and a basic need of populations, their economic activities and ecosystems, which are confronted with the dangers of scarcity and quality problems arising from the aggregate result of increased demand, contamination of water bodies, alteration of ecosystems and of the functioning of the water cycle through urbanisation processes and the impacts of climate change on territories.
In a circular vision of the city, the water cycle is a structuring issue in territorial planning and urban management, acting on both grey and green infrastructure. Supported in the grey infrastructure, the water cycle guarantees the security, quality and universality of supply, with reduced losses and greater efficiency in consumption and the collection, use and recovery of rain and wastewater. Operating in green infrastructure, the water cycle ensures functions of soil permeability and rainwater retention, air purification, bioclimatic comfort, reduction of water consumption in green spaces and resilience to climate change and extreme weather phenomena.
From the perspective of change, cities should improve the way they consider water in land planning and management and in urban design in order to optimise ecosystem protection and restoration, the sustainable and equitable use of good quality water, and adaptation to climate change. They should improve the efficiency of water retention, abstraction and use and promote increased reuse, recycling and recovery of raw materials in wastewater and products hitherto considered final. They should also adopt natural-based solutions and innovative product and process solutions to improve the well-being and quality of urban life and reduce the water footprint of urban systems.