Welcome to the website of ‘INNOVCITIES’: a research project exploring institutional innovation for adapting to climate change in water governance in cities.

We are interested in understanding how cities can become more adaptable to safeguard against water-related vulnerabilities under climate change. We specifically focus on two key water governance issues: (1) sustainable and resilient urban water supply, and (2) flood protection and preparedness.

We investigate how cities can innovate in their institutional and governance arrangements to better deal with uncertain and changing futures.

We do this by applying a variety of social science research methods in order to:

  • Assess types and patterns of institutional innovation occurring in at least 30 cities across the world, and
  • Analyse mechanisms of institutional innovation in several contrasting case study cities (in The Netherlands, South Africa, Chile, and Brazil)

The project aims to better understand types and mechanisms of institutional innovation in cities. In other words, what kinds of institutional innovation is occurring in cities, and why and how does it emerge.

The project aims to generate and share new research and policy insights to support ongoing efforts of cities to prepare and adapt to climate change.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 659065.