27 November 2018
RESIN - Climate Resilient Cities and Infrastructures has come to a successful end following 3.5 years of intensive co-creative collaboration between European cities, researchers, ICLEI and NEN working for enhanced climate adaptation planning and practice in European cities.
The final newsletter of the project has been published, with news and outcomes of the final conference of the RESIN project, news from Bratislava and Bilbao, the final outcomes, tools and publications, some messages from our RESIN cities Bilbao, Bratislava, Greater Manchester and Paris, and an update on the next event where RESIN will be featured, at a side event of COP24 in Katowice, Poland on 11th December 2018.
You can find this and previous newsletters at http://www.resin-cities.eu/ newsroom/newsletter/.
Thank you for following the RESIN project and we look forward to continue to exchange with you on climate resilient cities and infrastructures in Europe in the future!
30 October 2018
The Slovak Republic’s capital is located right at the heart of Europe, bordered by Austria and Hungary on both sides of the Danube River, the second-longest river in Europe, and is the country’s political, economic and cultural centre. The city is nestled between the Little Carpathian Mountains to the north and the Danube Lowland to the south.
The population is relatively young compared to other European capitals, the mortality rate is low, and a high proportion of households is made up of families. Bratislava’s workforce is highly educated, with over 24% of adults educated to third level. The city is still growing, but the population is set to decline over the next ten years.
The future seems bright for Bratislava, but its sheltered location in the centre of continental Europe leaves the city vulnerable to the effects of climate change. After decades of temperate weather, Bratislava is suffering from increasingly scorching summers. Summer 2018 was the worst year yet for heatwaves. After having recorded a record drought in 2017, the city was also struck this summer by extreme precipitation.
Bratislava is working to adapt to the effects of climate change with a number of measures intended to keep citizens cool, keep air conditioning costs low and soak up excess rain water before it can flood the streets.
Some of the measures intended to adapt to hot temperatures and heavy rain bring additional benefits with them. Elderly people are one of the most vulnerable groups during periods of extreme heat. Bratislava has constructed a green roof on an elderly people’s home, thereby improving the green space ratio and improving air quality and thermal comfort for its senior citizens, as well as helping prevent the building from overheating, improving biodiversity and cooling the surrounding area.
Collaboration with European peers
Beyond these practical local projects, Bratislava has looked to ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and its peers in cities across Europe as well as scientific climate experts to push its ability to adapt to climate change forward. In 2015, Bratislava linked up with the cities of Bilbao (Spain), Greater Manchester (United Kingdom) and Paris (France) as part of the European-funded RESIN project to develop new methods to adapt to climate change. These cities are thinking beyond the recent immediate climate phenomena that we are seeing across Europe; dried-out parks, water shortages and extreme wind; and have come together to plan for long-term uncertainty decades in advance, and to bring other European cities along with them.
As part of this project, the Office of the Chief Architect of Bratislava is working on completing its first qualitative vulnerability assessment using the RESIN project’s ‘Impact and Vulnerability Analysis of Vital Infrastructures and built-up Areas’ (IVAVIA) tool. This tool was produced as part of the RESIN project by Fraunhofer IAIS in a process of co-creation with the cities, aiming to produce the most practically-applicable method possible to be used as part of the daily work of municipal authorities and city governments in Europe.
Municipal authorities need to be able to map, analyse and communicate the impact of climate trends and weather events on key elements of a city’s physical, social and economic fabric, and the methodology provides a way to do this. Using the IVAVIA methodology helps cities to understand and visualise the cause-and-effect relationships of climate change, to identify geographical risk and vulnerability hotspots, to assess the demographic, economic and local impacts of climate change now and in the future and to identify entry-points for adaptation measures and areas where priority action is needed.
“We used IVAVIA to map risk exposure to climate threats at a detailed neighbourhood scale, and the Adaptation Options Library (in combination with Climact Prio) to identify and rank 63 adaptation actions. This information will be used in our local adaptation strategy, to be launched later this year,” said Miguel Gonzalez Vara, City of Bilbao.
Making Bratislava less vulnerable to climate change
During a first workshop in Bratislava in 2017, staff and stakeholders of the city of Bratislava addressed extreme heat and precipitation, heat waves, the risk of urban heat islands and its implications to human health and wellbeing and created impact chains demonstrating these relationships. An impact chain was also produced that focused on the vulnerability of green infrastructure of the city towards periods of droughts.
The city is working with Fraunhofer IAIS and Bratislava’s Faculty of Natural Sciences to elaborate impact chains on extreme heat and precipitation. When this is complete, this will allow the city to visualize its vulnerability and risk on a map, or to score the city’s boroughs in terms of sensitivity or capacity to cope with climate impacts.
In August 2018, a core group of the city of Bratislava’s stakeholders including external experts met to review the first outcomes of the vulnerability and risk assessment of the city on extreme summer temperatures and precipitation. A final workshop was held on August 21, 2018 where relevant departments of the City, the Bratislava Water Company and external stakeholders, such as experts from the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute, National Centre for Healthcare Information of the Slovak Republic, the Bratislava self-governing region participated and Faculty of Natural Sciences of Comenius University in Bratislava.
“We are very excited to be involved in the co-creation process of RESIN tools, such as the IVAVIA and the adaptation options library. Assessing the vulnerability of your city to the different impacts of climate change is a very complex task. When Bratislava started with the RESIN project, the city already had an outline of the different impacts and related vulnerable sectors thanks to the Strategy for adaptation which was adopted by the City in 2014. But in order to know where to implement adaptation measures – and what adaptation measures are best suitable, we need precise evidence-based information and tools – such as maps to help us plan our adaptation work more efficiently. We are also translating the Adaptation library to Slovak language to support our colleagues working in the city´s and boroughs´ administration to in choosing the most efficient adaptation measures for a given area or development project,” said Ingrid Konrad, Chief Architect, City of Bratislava.
The Office of the Chief Architect is now working on finalizing the risk-based vulnerability assessment based on the results of the most recent workshop, and to adapt its vulnerability and risk maps to the needs of urban and strategic planners.
Sharing results with Europe
Ingrid Konrad, Bratislava’s Chief Architect, discussed this progress in Brussels on 9th October 2018 during at the “Climate Resilient Cities and Infrastructures 2018”. At this event, Bratislava and its city peers from Manchester, Bilbao and Paris shared the results of their brand new co-developed tools, including an e-Guide to adaptation strategy development, a methodology for vulnerability and risk assessment, a map-based typology of climate risk in European regions and a library of adaptation options. The event took place during the European Week of Cities and Regions.
This article first appeared in the 'Sustain Europe' magazine.
29 October 2018
The RESIN project comes to a successful close, opens the floor to research teams from RESCCUE and BRIGAID
Just days after the IPCC published its Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, setting a new urgency for climate action within the next 12 years, the RESIN team gathered in Brussels for the project's final event. Effective climate action is a long term proposition, demanding cooperation and knowledge sharing across disciplinary and geographical borders. The RESIN project has progressively added to its network throughout the project, added 17 cities to its ‘Circle of Sharing and Learning,’ and included many more colleagues and peers in its collaborative community. For the final conference, the team invited three other Horizon 2020-funded projects to collaborate on the event “Climate Resilient Cities and Infrastructure 2018”: two ongoing projects, RESCCUE and BRIGAID, and a third that has been recently completed: EU-CIRCLE. All four projects are linked by a common concern for building climate resilience in European cities. Not only was this an occasion to share the findings of the RESIN project, but also to help establish a legacy for the work to date, and to explore new avenues to carry it forward. Over 100 people took part in the event, many of them representing municipalities that it is hoped will take up the RESIN tools in their day-to-day work. When it started in 2015, the RESIN project sought to address the following broad issues:
1. Cities were in need of decision support tools for climate adaptation planning
2. Risk assessment was not comparable between cities in Europe
3. No standardised collection of adaptation options was available
These were reflected on in the opening plenary discussion, where the project’s key outputs were introduced by RESIN research partners and a representative from the City of Ghent, who has followed the project as part of the RESIN ‘Circle of Sharing and Learning’. The audience also heard from Arnoldas Milukas (Head of Unit, H2020 Environment and Resources, EASME), Peter Bosch (RESIN project coordinator, TNO), Marc Velasco (Aquatec – SUEZ Advanced Solutions, RESCCUE project) and Ingrid Konrad (Chief City Architect, City of Bratislava).
“The RESIN project provides us with international know-how. Adopting the Adaptation Options Library was welcomed as a modern tool for city planning, its test version online is already available in the Slovak language and will be made available to the public within the framework of the RESIN project.” - Ingrid Konrad (Chief Architect, City of Bratislava)
Two blocks of parallel sessions then explored these outputs in greater depth: the urban adaptation e-Guide, the European Climate Risk Typology, the IVAVIA impact and risk assessment methodology, and the Adaptation Options Library. One session titled ‘Find the gaps: Where will adaptation research go from here?’ looked towards the future research landscape, with potential directions identified being more meaningful climate impact indicators at the city scale and improved multi-level governance. A stronger focus on action-oriented research approaches involving social scientists could support such an agenda.
In the closing discussion, project coordinator Peter Bosch (TNO) noted that international policy frameworks and local action are moving closer together. While at the beginning of RESIN many people working in cities seemed not to know what the Sendai framework was, “now, on a very practical level, people are realising that there is the need to link the energy transition to climate adaptation and on the city level to translate the SDGs to something tangible.”
6 September 2018
Three practical tools and methods have been developed as part of the RESIN project, along with an overarching decision support framework, to aid cities in understanding climate risk, and in designing and implementing climate adaptation strategies for their local contexts.
The RESIN urban adaptation e-Guide is an online platform that supports the entire process of developing and implementing an adaptation plan. The European Climate Risk Typology is an interactive map that helps you to visualise, describe, compare and analyse climate risk in European cities and regions. IVAVIA is a risk-based impact and vulnerability analysis methodology to assess climate-related risks and their effects. The Adaptation Options Library is a database of all kinds of adaptation measures, covering climate risks including flooding, heat stress and drought.
The new handbook guides practitioners in the use of the RESIN tools and takes the reader through the steps towards urban climate adaptation.
4 September 2018
How do you plan for the unknown? Cities are one of the top contributors to climate change worldwide, and they are also the areas hit hardest by the extreme weather, pressure on infrastructure and unpredictable disasters triggered by the changing climate.
Four cities, Bilbao (Spain), Bratislava (Slovakia), Greater Manchester (United Kingdom) and ICLEI Member Paris (France), have been working with researchers and ICLEI Europe since 2015 to develop new methods to adapt to climate change. These cities have gone beyond reacting to the effects that we are seeing across Europe: brown parks, water shortages and shocking storms, and are planning for long-term uncertainty decades in advance.
At “Climate Resilient Cities and Infrastructures 2018”, which will take place 9 October 2018 in Brussels (Belgium), the cities will share the results of their brand new co-developed tools, including an e-Guide to adaptation strategy development, a methodology for vulnerability and risk assessment, a map-based typology of climate risk in European regions and a library of adaptation options.
“The Adaptation Options Library is an easy-to-use and educational tool for both developing an adaptation strategy and implementing it. On the one hand, it can be used by practitioners such as architects and landscape planners for different small-scale projects (at the building level), and on the other, by urban planners and resilience officers to design an adaptation strategy and select the right measures,” said Eva Streberova (City of Bratislava). Ingrid Konrad, Bratislava’s Chief Architect, will speak about the city’s climate adaptation progress through the RESIN project.
Interactive sessions will guide local governments to forge new partnerships based on common climate risk characteristics, and will offer research scientists a space to plan future research into climate change adaptation.
The conference is co-organised by the RESCCUE project and will feature project coordinator Pere Malgrat (Aquatec - SUEZ Advanced Solutions). A closing panel including Aleksandra Kazmierczak (European Environment Agency) and Roger Street (Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford) will consider the policy implications of cities’ need for meaningful climate adaptation action.
The conference is free of charge and registration is open until 2 October 2018. For more information, click here.
24 July 2018
Supporting climate adaptation with the RESIN tools in Bilbao and the Basque region: reporting back on the 2nd Stakeholder Dialogue
Over 70 participants, including representatives of at least 20 local and regional governments, met in Bilbao (Spain) on 5th July 2018 for the second Stakeholder Dialogue of the RESIN project. Bilbao is a core RESIN city and has also been collaborating closely with the Basque Government on climate change adaptation measures. Deputy Mayor and Councillor for Mobility and Sustainability for the City of Bilbao, Alfonso Gil, welcomed the participants who had travelled to his city from across Spain and Europe, and as far away as Melbourne.
Speakers from the Basque Government emphasised how important it is to communicate with municipalities. “They need to let us know what we can help them with,” said María Aranzazu Leturiondo, Deputy Minister of Territorial Planning.
Susana Ruiz, Urban Planning Technician, City of Bilbao called for regulation to support municipalities in their adaptation work: “I would like to make a call to the authorities: It would be wonderful to have supra-municipal regulation from the autonomous region or from the state.”
For Aitor Zulueta, Director of Natural Heritage and Climate Change, “Adaptation to climate change is avoiding risks. It is a tool to anticipate economic problems… We need to adapt ourselves to avoid these kinds of risks, like the landslide in Bizkaya.” Intense rainfall triggered a landslide in Larrabetzu in February this year, dumping 100,000m3 of earth, causing traffic havoc due to the blocked road and trapping three people.
“Climate change is actually already happening in Paris,” said Marie Gantois, Project leader for adaptation to climate change, Climate and Energies Department of the City of Paris. The city suffered intensely under the heatwave nicknamed “Lucifer” in 2017, as well as a drought in 2017, thunderstorms in 2018 and flooding of the river Seine in spring 2018: “That was really unanticipated.”
Following the plenary discussion, participants explored the RESIN tools and methodologies in parallel sessions. For supporting the cycle of climate change adaptation decision-making, Gantois and RESIN research partner TNO led the exchange of city experiences and introduced the RESIN e-Guide’s potential to help make an adaptation plan. Mikel González Vara, City of Bilbao, along with representatives from Fraunhofer and the University of Manchester looked into diagnosing risk with the IVAVIA vulnerability assessment methodology and the online map-based European Climate Risk Typology. As the city of Zadar noted, the Climate Risk Typology could help identify other cities with similar climate risks. A new guidance document for IVAVIA has just been published and is available on the RESIN website, which includes advice on using IVAVIA in different ways, depending on resources available – an important lesson arising from working with the RESIN cities and their different needs and capacities.
The city of Bratislava and Tecnalia presented the Adaptation Options Library as a means to help prioritise adaptation measures and design incremental pathways for adaptation action. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Arcadis shared their work on creating ‘bankable’ opportunities to accelerate city resilience, based on recognising the value of adaptation measures and encouraging investment from those who can expect to later profit from publicly-funded developments. As Eric Schellekens, Arcadis said, “There is a lot more profit that you could capture and that you can have invested at the start of your project.”
New cities discovered the RESIN project in Bilbao and were impressed with the research, tools and methodologies developed. Raffaella Gueze, City of Bologna was one municipal representative discovering the project for the first time. “I found the RESIN tools very interesting and I want to try to apply the tools in my city with the implementation of our adaptation plan,” said Ms. Gueze.
The municipal representatives present agreed that climate adaptation progress depends on cooperation and communication: with citizens, with researchers, with the private sector, but most importantly, with each other. As RESIN project coordinator Peter Bosch suggested in his closing words, “Take that time to drink a cup of coffee with people from various departments before rushing in to develop your strategy… It takes years to get the full administrative setting around you... for moving towards adaptation: but it pays off.”
A photo gallery of the event is available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/iclei_europe/albums/72157696058386602.
15 June 2018
On 23 May 2018, University of Manchester’s Jeremy Carter presented the European Climate Risk Typology at a Green Week partner event co- organised by CPMR (the Conference for Peripheral Maritime Regions) and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.
Elena Visnar-Malinovska, Head of the Adaptation Unit at DG CLIMA delivered an opening address, commending the work local and regional governments are already undertaking in climate change adaptation (with special mention made of RESIN partner City of Bratislava’s work supporting private households), but emphasised that more needs to be done – including better dissemination of existing guidance and tools. Visnar-Malinovska’s address was followed by a series of presentations from regional government leaders and advisors, introducing ongoing adaptation initiatives.
Renaud Layadi from the Conseil Régional de Bretagne (France) outlined the Breizh COP approach to mobilising stakeholders and communities to build climate resilience. Ignacio de la Puerta, Director of Urban and Territorial Planning, and Urban Regeneration from the Basque Country (Spain) spoke about an ongoing revision of the regional planning framework to incorporate climate adaptation and resilience measures, emphasising the importance of integrating levels of governance. Quentin Dilasser, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (France) introduced the LIFE project NATURE4CITY, which hopes not only to communicate the role of nature in building resilience in cities to local stakeholders and communities, but also to feed messages back to higher levels of government and European Commission departments. Marcin Gradzski, Special Advisor, Polish Ministry of Environment outlined efforts to support cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants across Poland to develop adaptation strategies, as part of the 44MPA project.
In the afternoon, a research perspective was brought in, with practical measures to support cities and regions introduced from the Smart Mature Resilience and RESIN projects. ICLEI’s Vasileios Latinos described the Resilience Maturity Model and Risk Systemicity Questionnaire, followed by Jeremy Carter of the University of Manchester, who presented the European Climate Risk Typology. When complete in coming months, the Typology’s interactive map portal will be a tool for decision makers, planners and researchers to describe and communicate climate risk, to form strategies and plans to reduce climate risk (e.g. Covenant of Mayors) and to develop networks – as a mechanism to spatially identify shared risk profiles and to support local and regional collaboration across borders.
12 June 2018
A new European-funded project “Productive Green Infrastructure for Post-industrial Urban Regeneration (proGIreg)” was launched in Aachen on 12th June 2018. The cities of Dortmund (Germany), Turin (Italy) and Zagreb (Croatia) will harness the productive potential of key post-industrial areas with the involvement of local NGOs, community groups and residents.
The city of Dortmund will use the renatured Deusenberg landfill site to produce solar power and provide sports areas and creating fruit-producing forests with the local residents of Huckarde. Ultimately, the aim is to turn the isolated Huckarde borough into a green space, thereby filling in the missing link between two river sites that have already been converted into nature parks. “We would like to use the existing strengths of this urban area,” said Stefan Thabe, Department of City Planning and Building Regulations, City of Dortmund. “We would like to connect the existing potential, and we would like to improve quality of life in the urban area.”
A further central goal of the Living Lab Dortmund is to establish a community planned, built and operated aquaponic farm. Aquaponics is a combination of fish farming and soilless plant cultivation, where fish, plants and bacteria live together in a circular system, making farming possible in areas with hostile post-industrial soil. ProGIreg aims to design a lower tech, low cost aquaponics system that is accessible and suitable for community investment, community building and community operation. The technology has been implemented in Dortmund since 2012 and the project plans to use the experience of the city and its local expert partners to stimulate aquaponic innovations in the project's other cities.
“We are planning to reconstruct a former meat processing plant to create a new centre in the Sesvete area,” said Matija Vuger, Head of Section for International and Regional Projects, City of Zagreb. “The nature-based interventions will include urban gardens, a new cycle path, a modern business innovation hub with green walls and green roofs, and aquaponics agriculture.”
Turin will introduce nature-based solutions including aquaponics, cycle lanes, bee-friendly areas and green roofs and walls to the post-industrial ‘Mirafiori Sud’ area and to connect local groups already working on urban agriculture. Turin will experiment with the use of ‘new soil,’ produced by combining compost and special fungi with poor-quality, but uncontaminated soil, and will introduce carbon compensation and offset schemes for private companies and large public events. Elena Deambrogio, Head of Office for Smart Cities and EU Funds at Comune di Torino said, “This project is ambitious because we have to work on different sectoral policies, including urban regeneration, social and active inclusion, environment and green planning and economic development and support to innovation.”
The three cities will work with four further cities in Eastern and Southern Europe: Cascais (Portugal), Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Piraeus (Greece) and Zenica (Bosnia and Herzegovina) to research, share and scale up the nature-based solutions tested along with 25 other organisations including coordinator Rheinsch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH) and ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability. “We need to make politicians and decision-makers aware that nature-based solutions can be more than just for leisure activities, and that they are of crucial importance,” said Teresa Ribeiro, landscape architect at Cascais Ambiente.
“ProGIreg is the next step in bringing issues around green infrastructure, urban development and business innovation together,” said project coordinator Dr. Axel Timpe. “We are lucky to have an inspiring group of ambitious, committed and experienced cities on the proGIreg team, and together we will show the productive potential of green infrastructure for urban regeneration.”
A large launch event will be held in Dortmund on 25-26 September. For more information, follow the project at www.twitter.com/progireg.
29 May 2018
A new video shows the journey of seven cities towards a resilient future. Climate scenarios of increasing storms, floods and heat waves have lately become a reality and are putting citizens’ health and lives at risk as a result of climate change.
Human-made disasters such as terrorist attacks used to happen every 5 years in European cities and are now occurring several times a year. Local governments need to prepare their infrastructure for the worst in order to protect their communities, but these challenges transcend national borders and city limits.
“We are changing, the cities are changing, the world is changing and we also need to see outside the borders, to learn and to share information. And I think ICLEI is a great opportunity and a great platform for us to do that,” said Silje Solvang, Municipality of Kristiansand (Norway).
Cities need to work together to build a resilient urban environment where their communities can thrive. Kristiansand, along with the cities of Bristol (United Kingdom), Donostia (Spain), Glasgow (United Kingdom), Riga (Latvia), Rome (Italy) and Vejle (Denmark) have worked with research scientists, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and DIN to co-create and test a Resilience Management Guideline. The Resilience Management Guideline consists of five steps, which cities can follow to integrate resilience into their city planning.
Developing this guideline and the supporting tools has begun a movement to go beyond adapting infrastructure to climate change and spurred cities on towards boosting social cohesion and quality of life as a primary focus of resilience.
“When I initially came to the project it was very much about future proofing places and infrastructure,” said Lucy Vilarkin, city of Bristol. “For me, the emphasis has shifted onto people and organisations, and how we deal with tackling health issues and building healthy organisations.”
For more information, click here.
25 May 2018
Since hundreds of cities from over 40 countries first endorsed the Basque Declaration two years ago at the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns in Bilbao (Spain), commitment to the Declaration has been gaining momentum.
New signatories are joining the movement and cities are taking action to transform their communities for a more sustainable future. The Basque Declaration highlights the need to adapt to climate change, improve public space, protect water resources and air quality and enhance ecosystem services, and the Declaration provides pathways towards this transformation.
ICLEI Europe and the City of Bilbao are working together to return to the venue of this seminal conference, Bilbao’s Euskalduna Palace, for an implementation event on 5 July 2018, this time marking the implementation phase of the Basque Declaration.
City practitioners will come together with researchers to discuss and learn about practical approaches to building climate resilience for “Putting the Basque Declaration into Practice: Supporting climate change adaptation”, a stakeholder dialogue event on the topic of climate change adaptation and resilience.
The cities of Paris (France) and Bilbao will exchange with their peers from Zadar (Croatia), Padova and Alba (Italy), Almada (Portugal), Athens (Greece), London (UK), Strasbourg (France) and Warsaw (Poland), and further ambitious cities are invited to join the conversation.
As well as exchanging on the climate change adaptation measures underway in European cities, support tools and methods will be introduced, which can help local governments identify risks, assess their interdependencies and impacts, and select effective climate change adaptation solutions - now and in the future.
The tools and methods use standardised approaches, which help local governments collaborate with their peers in cities around Europe on climate challenges that transcend borders.
The tools and research to be presented at the event have been produced as part of the European-funded project RESIN – Resilient Cities and Infrastructures. Attendance is free of charge and registration is open until 22 June 2018.
For more information, click here.