NYC-CPH Dual Urban Water Vision Innovation Call

NYC-CPH Dual Urban Water Vision Innovation Call

How can innovative stormwater treatment and reuse practices help urban areas address the challenges of flooding and recreational water quality exacerbated by shifts in rain patterns caused by climate change? 

Aim of Innovation Call:

New York City and the Municipality of Copenhagen are seeking new and innovative ideas, technologies, and approaches for how stormwater can be successfully captured and treated to optimize benefits, reduce risks to public health, and promote co-benefits. Proposed solutions should consider the role water treatment or reuse can play in reducing flows to drainage systems and wastewater treatment facilities, in addition to conserving drinking water.

While the ultimate goal of this challenge is to identify and pilot innovative stormwater treatment and reuse solutions, it is important to consider the opportunities and challenges for implementation. This could also include smart technologies for capturing stormwater. Both cities also hope to gain a better understanding of how to manage the contaminants found in stormwater that can pose issues to public health and the environment, comply with current guidelines, and overcome other barriers to achieve the desired benefits of proposed stormwater treatment and reuse practices.

Specific categories of the challenges:

  1. Methods for purifying runoff from roads, squares and parking areas that will permit is to be discharged into water bodies or reused for non-potable reuse, irrigation and/or other secondary purposes. The solutions must be able to be incorporated in urban areas with limited space and as little day to day maintenance and operation as possible.
  2. Methods for handling of first flush from roads, squares and parking areas
  3. Methods for purifying runoff from roofs
  4. Methods for on-line monitoring of water quality

Background of the Innovation Call:

Erratic weather, including more frequent and intense rainfall and drought, and chronic issues from sea level rise, have forced cities to rethink urban water management. Innovative stormwater treatment and reuse practices can not only address challenges related to flooding and water quality, but also provide new opportunities to store and treat excess stormwater for beneficial uses.

New York City and Copenhagen have been working together since 2015 to exchange knowledge on solutions to shared climate challenges. To date, this partnership has provided insight into ways that both cities can advance climate resiliency projects and adapt stormwater solutions to mitigate inland flooding and accommodate future increases in rainfall intensity through integration with ongoing urban planning and development. This challenge would be a continuation of this partnership and will aid in overcoming challenges faced by both cities while moving towards the implementation of innovative solutions.

Enter the competition here:

Submit your solution(s) here by 13th May 2021 for the chance to pitch you to both cities on 20th May:

Evaluation Criteria:

Feasibility of the solution
Technology Readiness Level (TRL) (both cities are open to early-stage ideas)
Experience of the team

Challenge Specific
Relevance for the stormwater management challenge
Fit of the solution(s) to the specific challenge categories (more the better)

Business Model
Cost efficiency of the solution (water use etc.)
Operations and maintenance


The winner(s) will get to:

  • Explore the winning solution(s) for further development with the cities
  • Explore options for piloting in either New York and/or Copenhagen
  • Potentially sign collaboration agreements with the winners to support the further development
  • Share the winning solutions to wider network of cities with similar challenges

Access Cities:

The challenge is brought to you be Access Cities, which is a global alliance for sustainable urban development. It is produced by the Danish Cleantech Hub New York.

Access Cities is an international, public-private project, which aims to strengthen sustainable urban development in five project cities: New York City, Singapore, Munich and the Danish cities of Copenhagen and Aarhus. The project connects actors working with sustainable urban development in the pursuit of game-changing solutions to common issues confronting cities.





Samlet budget:




Grønnegaard Allison


+45 5029 6771