Our Project

PolyUrbanWaters is a research and project network funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) that consists of academic institutions, municipalities, local and national government agencies, civil society and private-sector stakeholders from Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Germany.

Working through this network and on the ground in three pilot cities, the PolyUrbanWaters project aims to generate comprehensive scientific knowledge that helps develop practice-relevant strategic planning models for fast-growing cities and peri-urban areas in Southeast Asia, enabling them to implement polycentric approaches for water-sensitive urban development.


PolyUrbanWaters offers cities:

  • support for SDG-oriented strategic, cross-sectoral, water-sensitive urban planning and the emergence of corresponding city-level narratives
  • generation of evidence-based knowledge for informed decision making
  • identification of strategic “entry points” for implementation of polycentric planning
  • coaching for strategic project management and facilitation of co-production procedures at the local level involving communities, the public and private sectors, civil society and academia
  • facilitation of access to cutting-edge academic knowledge about the polycentric management of urban waters

PolyUrbanWaters offers academia:

  • direct interaction with cities, public entities, the private sector, civil society and communities to generate practice-oriented research and capacity-building programs
  • networking within an international multi-stakeholder environment vertically from the local level up to the national level (involving ministries), and horizontal interaction with local initiatives, academic institutions and multilateral working arrangements
  • elaboration of practice-oriented and interdisciplinary short-term courses and master programs

Expected Outcomes

Orientation: SDGs and New Urban Agenda

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 6: Clean Air and Sanitation
SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
SDG 13: Climate Action

In a strategic field of urban development, PolyUrbanWaters (also known as “Polyurb” or “Polyurbwater”) contributes to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda. Our project enables municipalities to develop exemplary strategies within the framework of the SDG indicator system with particular reference to SDG 11 (sustainable cities and settlements), SDG 6 (water and sanitation for all), SDG 9 (resilient infrastructure and sustainable industrialization), SDG 13 (combating climate change and its impacts), SDG 16 (peaceful and inclusive societies and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions), SDG 3 (healthy living for all), SDG 1 (ending poverty) and SDG 17 (strengthening implementation and global partnership).

SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being
SDG 1: No Poverty
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals