Utilities are those services that are required by all to live in modern societies. Clean drinking water, safe disposal of sewage and reliable electricity are universally required. Many countries use natural gas and a staple and almost universally telecom interconnectivity and access to the internet are becoming essentials.
Clean water allows people to drink safely without having to spend larges parts of their day finding access to the cleanest water. Low access to clean drinking water is directly correlated with poverty and wellbeing and significantly reduces the economic potential of individuals and families the need to spend time finding water.
And the safe disposal of wastewater has a direct correlation with public health with many diseases originating from poor sanitation. But even with safe disposal, the potential affect on the environment of discharging non treated wastewater is detrimental to the point of having a negative affect on the community and environment.
Electricity is now fundamental to the urban environment such that without it often even the water supply will not function correctly. Increasingly the provision of electricity is as much about resilience and consistency as we move to fewer carbon forms of producing electricity.
Telecoms are now considered a utility as it is central to modern urban living. There is much discussion about the potential negatives of mobile phones and internet access in general and at urban wellbeing solutions we consider how to mitigate those but economic and social activity is so linked with the digital world that it has a great power to support urban wellbeing both for communities and individuals.