With rising populations and changing climates, urban areas need water systems capable of meeting a range of social, economic and environmental sustainability objectives. Different configurations of urban growth and development also produce varying water system outcomes. In this paper we develop a multi-dimensional classification scheme that identifies distinct configurations of ‘urban forms’ in Northern Utah, USA. We identified characteristics within urban landscapes that have been linked in the scientific literature to three types of water outcomes: water demand, water budgets, and water quality. Using publicly-available data at the census block scale, we create a typology of urban neighborhoods that share distinctive combinations of natural, built, and social structures that are expected to shape water system dynamics. The resulting typology provides a conceptual and empirical basis to generate hypotheses and design studies of complex urban water systems. We illustrate the value of the typology by using data from surveys of urban residents. While our typology classifications are unique to this region, the methodology relies on publicly available data and could be replicated in other urban areas.

Supplemental Table A.pdf (112 kB)
Supplemental Table A: Data Sources

Supplemental Table B.pdf (130 kB)
Supplemental Table B: Descriptive Statistics

Supplemental Figure A.pdf (140 kB)
Supplemental Figure A: Agglomeration Coefficients

Supplemental Figure B.pdf (219 kB)
Supplemental Figure B: Neighborhood Group map for SL Valley

Supplemental Figure C.pdf (206 kB)
Supplemental Figure C: Cluster Group map of WRMA

Supplemental Figure D.pdf (210 kB)
Supplemental Figure D: Cluster Groups Map for SL Valley