Hydropower is one of the cleanest and most efficient ways of generating energy on earth. However, harnessing the energy of water usually involves blocking the water streams in natural environments, which causes a number of undesirable social and environmental impacts. People relocation, land inundation, and deforestation are only some of the destructive impacts of such interventions in nature.
Decommissioning large-scale dams around the world affirms the recent global moves toward reducing the impacts of such infrastructures. However, the need for the production of clean energy motivates engineers to look for less destructive approaches to harness the water energy such as micro hydropower technologies, designing more efficient turbines, and combining various renewable resources.
Aside from being a valuable source of energy, water constitutes a deciding factor for almost every settlement on Earth. It affects the morphology of urban spaces and the social, economic, and recreational life of their habitats. Water strongly affects the geometric formation of the cities as well as the aesthetic quality of the urban spaces. 
Recent developments in the field of sustainable design are leading to energy independent buildings in the urban environment.
Since hydropower is one of the cleanest sources of renewable energies, harnessing water energy for the use of individual buildings, similar to harnessing solar and wind power, might be possible in the very near future. Perhaps, the formation of the future communities and cities will highly depend on the integration of water infrastructures with the fabric of the cities.
Designing sustainable cities that harness water energy as well as other sources of renewable energy requires close collaboration among engineers, architects, and planners. Only then can hydropower technology be combined with careful and creative design solutions for the use of individual buildings.
The lack of integration between architectural design and hydraulic engineering, together with the idea of incorporating hydropower facilities into the infrastructure of the future cities, motivated me to visit various hydraulic facilities around the world. The present report is the result of these visits and provides a very brief introduction to the hydropower technologies and infrastructural design of such facilities, hopefully inspiring architects, engineers, and students to learn from or criticize the existing structures and to participate more in the future in the design process of such infrastructural elements.
Most hydropower facilities around the world consist of similar elements: a reservoir that stores the water for power generation and a power house, which is the house for the turbine that converts the mechanical energy of water into electricity to be sent to the grid. In this regard, finding and visiting hydropower facilities that perform differently from the common and conventional facilities, or are designed uniquely compared to the other stations, were among the main goals of this report.
Hydropower facilities are one of the most prominent manmade interventions that involve some irreversible environmental impacts. However, the integration of these mammoth structures with their surrounding environments was, from a design point of view, the driving force behind visiting some of these facilities in this report.
Visiting existing models that incorporate hydropower facilities into the fabric of the city can provide insight for designers and planners to use these ideas for the design of future cities.