ETC/ICM Report 4/2022: Benefits of bathing waters in European cities

19 Jan 2023

Lidija Globevnik, Luka Snoj, Gašper Šubelj, Andrej Draksler, Hugh McDonald, Thomas Thaler, Rob St. John

Around half of European citizens living in towns and cities have access to urban bathing sites and urban bathing is increasingly possible and popular. The sites are designated and monitored under provisions of EU Bathing Water Directive (BWD) and safeguard public health and protect the aquatic environment.  

Establishment and restoration of urban bathing waters in European cities give many environmental and socio-economic benefits, either direct or indirect. There are also ‘invisible’ benefits of clean and healthy urban bathing waters to both citizens and ecosystems, which we recognize and highlight. The opening of each new urban bathing water and the continued maintenance of clean, safe bathing water should be met by praise and encouragement. We need to preserve and protect bathing waters in cities, both for ourselves and for future generations.

Prepared by:

Lead authors: Lidija Globevnik (TC Vode), Luka Snoj (TC Vode), Gašper Šubelj (TC Vode), Andrej Draksler (TC Vode), Hugh McDonald (Ecologic), Thomas Thaler (BOKU), Rob St. John
EEA project manager: Mustafa Aydin
Coordination: Claudia Neitzel (UFZ)
Language Check: Shane Hume (CENIA)
Layout: F&U confirm, Leipzig