Amsterdam’s Governance Capacity

Amsterdam’s Governance Capacity has been analysed for five water challenges: water scarcity, flood risk, wastewater treatment, solid waste treatment, and urban heat islands. This has been done according to the Governance Capacity tool which consists of twenty-seven indicators. The analyses has been done by literature research, in-depth interviews and feedback from key experts and stakeholders. Here we showcase the overall results.

Amsterdam excels in flood risk governance, and most indicators regarding water scarcity and wastewater treatment are encouraging. However, more governance capacity needs to be developed to address Urban Heat Islands, since the number of tropical days (>30 ºC) in the Netherlands is predicted to rise substantially, from 4 days at present to 7-13 days by 2050 and 8-21 by 2100. Averaging the scores of the five challenges for each indicator yields a more general overview of Amsterdam’s water governance capacity. It suggests that the knowledge level of communities (indicator 1.1) and the access to understandable information for non-experts (indicator 2.2) may slightly limit local support (indicator 1.2) and consumer willingness to pay (indicator 8.2) for water services. These results are in line with other studies of the Dutch water governance that points out that Dutch citizens take water services for granted and that this “awareness gap’’ tends to decrease public involvement and the willingness to pay for water services. Therefore, the most feasible way for Amsterdam to further enable effective policy change is to focus on improving the indicator scores found to be limiting (-) or very limiting (--) to the city’s governance capacity.