Buenos Aires, Argentina and Mexico City, Mexico served as case studies for the 'Vital and viable services for natural resource management in Latin America' (VIVACE) project. Existing technologies and programmes in these regions are not adequate enough to support their rapidly growing urban areas. New tools and sustainable solutions are needed for water supply, sanitation and solid waste management, with an emphasis on nutrient and energy recovery. One significant finding in Mexico was that small-scale projects often pioneer more innovative solutions, whereas larger programmes tend to follow traditional approaches. In both countries, researchers identified and tested more than 20 technologies finding a search for potential solutions. Workshops were also held with the goal of developing future scenarios for the case study areas. The next step was to conduct feasibility studies of different solutions in the context of these potential future situations. The final results and recommendations of the VIVACE project will inform future programmes and policies geared towards implementation of such solutions.