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27 November 2018

Completing the cycle: the final newsletter of the RESIN project

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

Building a climate resilient city in Bratislava

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.  

Adaptation measures

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.  

Chief Architect

“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.”

A photo gallery of the event is available on Flickr. A full report on the final conference is available on the RESIN website.  

6 September 2018

Newly published: The RESIN decision support tools for climate change adaptation

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

Cities to unveil new ways to plan for climate change at Brussels conference

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

European Climate Risk Typology presented during Green Week 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

Transforming post-industrial zones to green hubs

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

Cities are coming together to make the journey towards a resilient future

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

Putting the Basque Declaration into practice: implementation event to be held in Bilbao

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.

11 May 2018

Climate change adaptation practice is stopping short: it’s time to work on real-life consequences

A new paper published by RESIN researchers in Sustainability calls on climate change practitioners to tackle the practical consequences of climate change: all they need to do is to shift their focus away from ‘vulnerability’ and onto ‘risk’. This shift can bring climate change adaptation practitioners up to date with the perspective of scientific community and intergovernmental organisations, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) moved from a vulnerability to a risk-based conception of climate change adaptation in 2012.

Those in the climate change adaptation community have largely used ‘vulnerability’, or the propensity to be affected by hazard, as their frame for understanding and responding to climate change. The authors write that, “by labeling people and places as ‘vulnerable’, a passive attitude may be adopted to climate change. Similarly, the negative framing overlooks the importance of local culture and underlying resilience, particularly in non-western nations. In short, a vulnerability frame can promote inaction.”

Risk assessments, on the other hand, focus much more on the real-life consequences of potential hazard and are carried out by important stakeholders for the climate change adaptation community, including the health sector, disaster risk managers, and even insurance companies. Risk assessments, the authors write, go beyond impact and vulnerability assessments and bring together different elements of the adaptation agenda to help identify which weather and climate risks are most pressing.

Paradoxically, following the advice of the research community would actually move cities and climate practitioners away from relying on the assessment and recommendations of researchers, and would encourage them to share knowledge and input with practitioners in other fields rather than looking to academia for answers. The authors write that “the risk-based concept can help to shift the focus from top-down, science-first vulnerability assessments to risk assessments that can better involve a range of stakeholders and can help to consider climate change as one risk along with many other challenges.” This makes considerations of future and often uncertain climate risk compatible with practical on-the-ground decision-making across municipal departments and across the city.

Risk assessment is used by a range of different industries, it is broad and makes room for inclusion of different stakeholders, and it is closer to relevant practice for climate adaptation practitioners, particularly disaster risk managers. Even more importantly, it focuses on real consequences, rather than the vague possibility of adverse affects, as is the case for vulnerability. So why is risk not already the first choice for the climate change adaptation community? 

Firstly, existing climate change assessment projects support a ‘science-first’ vulnerability focus rather than supporting a risk-based approach. Some tools provide information on too broad a scale, while cities need detailed information about small areas, or data coverage is inconsistent across European countries, or tools can only be useful for early planning stages, or they ignore the wider hinterland that cities might be embedded within.

The European Climate Risk Typology, developed as part of the RESIN project, aims to bridge this gap and help cities to move away from vulnerability and towards risk, reaping the benefits of better connections to other sectors and a better grip on real-life consequences. The Typology will help policymakers differentiate different risk elements and will help to show them which issues are driving risk in a particular situation. Climate adaptation practitioners interested in contributing to the development of the Typology are invited to join the RESIN Expert Input Group and to participate in a consultation process for the final development stage of this tool.

More information is available at http://www.resin-cities.eu/expert-input-group/.

9 May 2018

Can standardization be useful for climate adaptation?

The vast majority of commercial products you might encounter on a daily basis have had to pass a variety of standards, from the materials they are composed of, the shape, the packaging and instructions, to the machines that produce them. Most commonly associated with health and safety regulations, and technical equipment such as screws and mobile phone chargers, standardization is becoming increasingly relevant to people-centred processes, such as management. Just as standardizing a mobile phone charger ensures high quality and means that it can be used transferably with many different mobile phones, standardization of soft processes supports collaboration as part of much more complex processes. 

Planning a city to adapt to climate change involves the intersection of a number of complex systems, each of which involves unknown, uncertain and unpredictable factors. Climate is in itself an incredibly complex system, cities are complex systems, and municipal workers balance all of this complexity with limited budgets, political priorities and practical considerations. Standardization is one way in which municipalities and local councils can create a common language so that they can use the same methods and software as one another for a process as specific as climate change adaptation. 

“Cities use standards in their daily work, for example, to determine quality of products and services in their procurement processes,” said Holger Robrecht, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. “However, they are not so used to applying standards and norms related to their management procedures, for example, related to climate change adaptation or urban resilience. However, whilst a few large cities often have capacity to develop, establish and maintain their tailor-made procedures, the vast majority cannot. They depend on high quality and up-to-date information and reference documents that guide their management of climate change adaptation. Standardisation picks upon cutting-edge expertise to provide such guidance.”

The city of Bratislava (Slovakia) is one city looking to standardized approaches to adapt to climate change. Bratislava has put a climate change adaptation strategy in place to deal with the climate challenges the city is facing, such heatwaves and droughts, and has now arrived at the point of developing an action plan to turn the strategy into reality. Gathering data for this process has proven to be a challenge for the city, but real progress is being made, in part thanks to cooperation with universities including the University of Bratislava.

Bratislava has been applying an Impact and Vulnerability Analysis of Vital Infrastructures and built-up Areas (IVAVIA) tool locally to assess vulnerability on the basis of risk. According to Eva Streberová, Climate Adaptation Expert, City of Bratislava (Slovakia), using this tool depends on cooperation between the city council and its stakeholders, providing a range of co-benefits. Bratislava is also a signatory of the Mayors Adapt initiative, whereby the city committed to contributing to the aims of the EU Adaptation Strategy. This commitment is associated with a comprehensive reporting process, and Bratislava has found that using the IVAVIA tool has made this reporting process easier.  

IVAVIA is a standardized approach to making a vulnerability and risk assessment. It is made up of three qualitative and 3 quantitative steps followed by presentation module. During the IVAVIA process, cities produce impact chain diagrams, which make the cause-effect relationships between the consequences of hazards and exposed objects visible. Later in the process, cities can develop detailed risk maps that can show city councils which areas in the city are in need of particular attention. IVAVIA can help cities not only uncover risk and vulnerability issues affecting them, but can also help to communicate these in a visual way.  

Greater Manchester (United Kingdom) has also used the IVAVIA method to arrive at systematically mapped risk indicators and indices, with a particular focus on flooding and its repercussions on the transport network. Use of the tool has enabled Greater Manchester to produce an impact chain demonstrating the interactions between pluvial flooding and the system of major arterial roads in Greater Manchester. Developing this impact chain brought transport agency staff into closer working contact with the municipality.

“The 'beauty' of standards lie in their global availability, hands-on foundation and an inherent regular review mechanism keeping the standard at speed with the generation of knowledge and experience,” said Robrecht. “Being voluntary by nature, cities can 'pick and choose' what fits best to strengthen their climate change adaptation management.”

These outcomes were shared at the RESIN project’s session, “Standardized support tools for urban resilience, integrating resilience planning into local decision-making” at the Bonn Resilient Cities conference, 27 April 2018.

4 May 2018

RESIN General Assembly meeting, Sankt Augustin (Germany)

The RESIN consortium met in Sankt Augustin (Germany) last week for its final General Assembly. The four core cities of the RESIN project presented their recent work and discussed their perspective on the co-creation process within RESIN.

The city of Paris presented the Paris Adaptation Strategy. “Paris is one of the Tier 1 cities of the RESIN project, along with Bratislava, Manchester and Bilbao,” said Marie Gantois, City of Paris. “We were looking forward to exchanging experience and also to see how we could contribute to shaping some tools for cities regarding adaptation to climate change and potentially also learn from it's at a different scale.

What happened in Paris is that we already had an adaptation strategy at the whole city scale and we wanted to use RESIN to test other tools for adaptation to climate change at smaller scales, and that is what's been tested in the RESIN project.”

As part of the city’s updated adaptation strategy, the city aims to address climate-related challenges, including heat, especially the urban heat island effect and heat waves, flooding and intense rainfall, droughts and water scarcity, and lastly energy scarcity. The strategy includes 65 measures, many of which are oriented towards heat mitigation and improving thermal comfort.

The city of Bratislava has been reaching out to stakeholders who are expected to be affected by climate change. The city will also build on its successful programme of subsidies for implementing sustainable rainwater measures, which has been offered to citizens for the last two years and will continue into a third. The city is seeking nature-based solution options for adaptation to climate change and is currently monitoring temperatures in different areas of the city to identify effective adaptation options.

The city of Bilbao has fed outputs from the RESIN co-creation process into the preparation of its recent Sustainable Mobility Plan. A risk analysis at a small scale was also made possible through the RESIN project, as grid analysis of risk areas was prepared by RESIN researchers on the city’s request at a detailed resolution.

Greater Manchester has been able to develop composite risk maps as a result of engagement in the RESIN project. Involvement of stakeholders and building cooperative relationships has been a meaningful output of the project. In Greater Manchester’s case, flood risk is the most immediately pressing climate adaptation challenge, and this field has provided an in-road into consideration of other interrelationships of climate and risk in the city.

A number of RESIN tools; the European Climate Risk Typology, the Impact and vulnerability analysis (IVAVIA) tool, the Adaptation Options Library and the latest release of the RESIN e-Guide were presented in an interactive rotating cycle of demonstration and discussion sessions.

3 May 2018

RESIN project co-organises Open European Day

155 local government representatives, climate change adaptation experts and local and national government representatives convened in Bonn on 25th April 2018 to meet other city representatives for peer-based discussions on climate change adaptation.

Reinhard Limbach, Deputy Mayor of the city of Bonn, hosts of the event, said: “To be prepared for future incidents, we must create suitable technical infrastructure and work on an innovative, nature-based strategy… I find it so important to come together and to make use of the elaborated European system, to benefit from the exchange with our direct neighbours.”

As the event, organized by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and the European Environment Agency, has grown over five editions, European institutions are seeing the value in joining the conversation with local governments.

“What regional organizations do, the country does, or even the European Union does, matters for cities,” said Birgit Georgi, Strong Cities in a Changing Climate. “They build a framework in which the cities connect, and so we started to invite more and more also these levels, like from the European Commission or national governments or regional governments and other supporters, because as cities cannot move alone forward to be more resilient, national governments, you cannot without these cities. We have to work together in a multi-level approach.”

Training events were added as a new feature to this year's edition, including training from the RESIN project on the risk-based Impact and Vulnerability Analysis of Vital Infrastructures and built-up Areas (IVAVIA) tool in the context of training cities on critical infrastructure protection. 

The 5th edition was supported by the European Commission, the European Investment Bank and Ramboll and co-organised by the European-funded Smart Mature Resilience project, RESIN – Climate Resilient Cities and Infrastructures and PLACARD. The event is held annually.

Photo gallery: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmh5cQct

18 April 2018

Open European Day 2018 set to be biggest edition in the series

The fifth edition of Open European Day has proven to be the most popular edition yet. Cities are acutely aware of the challenges they are facing and are coming together to discuss these challenges and share solutions with their peers and experts from the world of science and research.

Speakers to join the opening discussion reflecting on the past year and years to come for climate adaptation in Europe will include Nicolas Faivre, DG Research, European Commission, Stefanie Lindenberg, NCFF European Investment Bank, Bernd Decker, EASME/LIFE Programme, Stefania Manca and Paolo Castiglieri, Municipality of Genoa (Italy) for the Climate Adaptation Partnership of the EU Urban Agenda, Eleni Myrivili, City of Athens (Greece), Joanna Kiernicka-Allavena, City of Wroclaw (Poland)/44MPA project and Marian Barquin, Basque Government.

Breakout sessions will see cities discuss topics including flooding, insurance, nature-based solutions, cultural heritage and partnerships and will include contributors from the cities of Arnsberg (Germany), Bologna (Italy), Budapest (Hungary), Cascais (Portugal), Copenhagen (Denmark), Glasgow, Greater Manchester (United Kingdom), Guimaraes (Portugal), Helsinki (Finland), Kristiansand (Norway), Paris (France) and Thessaloniki (Greece). The Open European Day’s successful Marketplace will be back this year as a unique space for exchange and partnerships.

As a new addition for the fifth Open European Day, breakout training sessions will provide expert training on topics including critical infrastructure protection, citizen engagement and financing adaptation.

Strathclyde Business School and Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems (IAIS) will provide training on critical infrastructure protection, using the outcomes from the Smart Mature Resilience and RESIN projects, which are co-organising the event.

On:Subject and the European Environment Agency will provide training on citizen engagement for adaptation and EASME/LIFE Programme and the European Investment Bank will provide training for cities on how to access financing to fund urban adaptation. Registration is now closed.

More information and the final programme is available here

 

10 April 2018

New Research Will Lead to a More Resilient Europe

54 partner organisations across five EU-funded projects have come together to recommend new European Resilience Management Guidelines. Developed over the last three years, these guidelines have the potential to improve the security and safety of citizens and society.

At a major event in Brussels today, these projects - Smart Mature Resilience, DARWIN, IMPROVER, RESILENS and RESOLUTE – launched the ‘White Paper on Resilience Management Guidelines for Critical Infrastructures,’ outlining key recommendations for European policy makers.

To support the uptake of these guidelines, the five projects have developed a series of innovative tools, ranging from serious gaming based on virtual reality and gaming-based training apps, to e-learning hubs and resilience management matrix and audit toolkits.

A panel of end users reflected on the tools developed by the five projects. Silje Solvang, city of Kristiansand, said, "The most valuable outcome of our participation in the SMR project has been the cross-sectoral collaboration, which is essential for resilience." City representatives emphasised the need for access to data, which is only provided by privately owned critical infrastructure providers when the latter is legally obliged to do so. 

SMR project coordinator Jose Maria Sarriegi summarized the outcomes of the panel by notin gthat cooperation is essential for resilience, there is a challenge in communicating resilience, resilience is not only about technology and must include soft factors, there is a need for funding to facilitate further work, and finally, there is a need for the tools and methods produced to be adaptable to changing circumstances.

The European Resilience Management Guidelines and the associated tools were showcased at the Critical Infrastructure Resilience 2018 Conference, which took place on Tuesday 10th April from 09.00 to 16.00 at the Research Executive Agency (Covent Garden), Place Rogier, Brussels.

Attendees, including policy makers, resilience managers and practitioners, heard from resilience experts and end-users across the five projects on topics such as, Resilience Interventions Tools and Benefits; Resilience Policy, Standardisation and Current Needs; and Status, Further Needs and Roadmap to Integration.

The five projects are part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and cooperate together under crisis management topic 7: ‘crisis and disaster resilience – operationalising resilience concepts (DRS-7)’.

Download the white paper here.

20 March 2018

Cities are where global problems can be solved: outcomes of the 27th Breakfast at Sustainability’s – Boosting local progress in city resilience development

Representatives of over 30 cities and regions in Europe, the European Commission and scientific experts on resilience attended the 27th edition of ICLEI Europe’s Breakfast at Sustainability’s series. The event was hosted by the European office of the Basque Country and a welcome address was provided by – Ignacio de la Puerta, Director for Urban Planning of the Basque Government. A brief introduction to the Smart Mature Resilience project and its tools was provided by Vasileios Latinos, ICLEI Europe.

Mr de la Puerta emphasised in his words of welcome the need to provide space and quality of life for Basque residents. An integrated action plan, as well as participation in numerous local, regional and international projects and programmes, such as Donostia/San Sebastián’s participation in the Smart Mature Resilience Project are addressing this need. The path is a shared one and cities in Europe are welcome to join the Basque Country on this journey by considering the pathways towards transformative action laid out in the Basque Declaration.

Cities must work together in a coordinated way towards long-term resilience goals. For Ben Caspar, Team Leader for Urban Environment for the European Commission’s DG Environment, cities have enormous potential to overcome global challenges. The Pact of Amsterdam has made funding streams easier to understand and has led to enhanced support and cooperation between the European Commission and city networks. As well as funding the European Commission offers other resources to cities, including online tools, such as a new portal planned to be launched during Green Week. Ronny Frederickx, Former President and Good Governance Project Leader, UDITE considered resilience from the perspective of good governance, and warned that lack of trust in political leaders, lack of capacity and ‘segregation in craftsmanship’ or lack of cooperation as drivers of risk. He called for a good governance approach in order to overcome these challenges, as well as for a triangle between science, education and practice.

The innovative and inspiring “Room for the river Waal” project saw attitudes among citizens to the large-scale project turn from hostility and resistance, to sentiments among citizens of pride and ownership of the project. Ton Verhoeven, Arnhem Nijmegen City Region, Netherlands shared how this was achieved through intensive communication and engagement of stakeholders.

Glasgow and Rome are working together on their resilience journey: both cities are part of the Smart Mature Resilience project as well as ICLEI members and members of 100 Resilient Cities. Frankie Barrett, Glasgow City Council and Claudio Bordi, Risorse per Roma. Public authorities in Glasgow are as of recently obliged to involve communities as part of their work, and ongoing projects range across numerous topical areas, for example food security and land use. In Glasgow’s experience, "When citizens are not involved in the plan, it will fail." Rome has used a tool produced by the Smart Mature Resilience project, the Risk Systemicity Questionnaire, to hold cross-sectoral meetings with a goal to break silos and better understand risk.

Annette Figueiredo, Greater London Authority described a recently concluded audit of school air quality in London. Poor air quality has detrimental effects on children’s learning, and a survey revealed that over 360 schools were in poor air quality areas. The Mayor of London, as part of a vision to clean up London’s air received a petition from Greenpeace signed by 303 teachers calling for better air quality near schools, and fifty schools were selected.  The project involved the cooperation of the relevant boroughs, Transport for London, Public Health and other Greater London Authority programmes working with schools, researchers and academics. The collected data will be used in the schools’ curricula so that students can understand how it affects their lives.

For the second part of the day, Serene Hanania, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, invited cities to participate in an interactive workshop. Discussion groups considered topics such as heat waves, flood risks, social issues and emergency response and exchanged their experiences from their respective cities on the topics. The SMR project representatives then demonstrated how the tools co-produced in the project by cities and researchers could support the newcomer cities in overcoming the challenges they raised in the discussions.

In terms of flooding, cross-departmental silos were found to be a major challenge in British cities, as management of water courses was not closely linked to response mechanisms, and vulnerable groups were found to be more exposed to flood risk. Here, Nijmegen could explain their unique case, where better communication on water planning and management is possible due to Dutch water boards. The SMR City Resilience Dynamics tool was mentioned in a possible application to measure surface water interventions.

On the subject of heat waves, desertification and the benefits of reforestation were discussed for cities in Spain. In Italy, paradoxically, abandonment of agricultural areas and increase of rain has led to natural reforestation. The most vulnerable cities to heat waves were considered to be Athens and Rome. Here, the Risk Systemicity Questionnaire was recommended, as awareness of the risk of heat waves seriously underestimates the real mortality rate among elderly people during periods of extreme heat. Malmö, Sweden, expressed the benefits of exchanging with Southern cities with cultural experience of caring for the elderly during heat waves, as heat stress is becoming an increasing problem for Malmö. Here, better access to data on mortality rates would be helpful to gain political support for, elderly, patient and hospice care to take additional measures during heat waves.

A common feature of the cities was the importance of involving volunteers and NGOs in emergency response. While cities and municipalities must adhere to standards, guidelines and norms for emergency response, citizens can step in and provide non-professional support magnanimously, for example providing unofficial transport and meals to refugees. Dedicated policies for involving NGOs and volunteers are included in the Resilience Maturity Model.

IT solutions offer interesting innovative ways to prevent food waste and to build communities in new way. Representative democracy and transparent decision-making were considered to be crucial foundations for social resilience. Decreasing vulnerability is intricately connected to employment, and in the case of French regions, citizens can become alienated as a result of unemployment. 

The cities present shared many aspects and practices around emergency response. Most cities had emergency plans and the same way of responding to an emergency. Malmö provided another perspective, for example, that experts were called in the event of a crisis. In each of the cities, in many cases, those working in emergency response have other responsibilities under normal circumstances, where response takes preference over these duties during a crisis. Risk assessment was considered essential, and the SMR Risk Systemicity Questionnaire is available to be used as part of this process.

A photo gallery of the event is available at https://flic.kr/s/aHsmeXRgWi.

19 March 2018

European cities are working against the clock to adapt to the new climate reality

City council teams in Bratislava (Slovakia) and Manchester (UK) have teamed up with the cities of Paris (France), Bilbao (Spain), top European researchers,  and city network ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability to make their cities and critical infrastructures more resilient to the impacts of climate change.  

A new short film has been launched today showing how Manchester and Bratislava are working with a team of cities and scientists to help municipalities to adapt to a rapidly-changing climate. A second period of unprecedented snow across Europe this weekend following the “Beast from the East” earlier this month has shown that extreme weather is becoming the new normal.

“What was good enough in the past, and maybe 10 years ago, it’s not enough for the future,” said Martina Tichá, Head of Project Management Unit, Strategy and Projects Department at Bratislava City Hall. Bratislava, where an orange alert was raised due to freezing temperatures this Saturday, can expect extreme heat as early as May this year.

As most of Europe’s population lives in cities, city councils across Europe desperately need new ways of working to understand the risks they face and to prepare for the unknown. “The decision makers in Greater Manchester need to know key issues and why they should do something about it,” said Matthew Ellis, Climate Resilience Officer, Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

“Every job within a local authority will be impacted by climate change in the future: every decision that's made will need to take account of what the future climate change risks might be,” said Mark Atherton, Director of Environment, Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

RESIN - Climate Resilient Cities and Infrastructures has been developing innovative tools in a process of ‘co-creation’ between cities, climate scientists and ICLEI since 2015. In Manchester in February 2018, the project held an event to share the new tools with representatives of over 15 cities.  

“You don't have to reinvent the wheel, you can use these tools because you can be sure they have been tested and they have the best current knowledge available from different European research institutions and cities, that deal with problems just like your city is probably dealing with,” said Eva Streberová (PhD), Environmental Manager, Office of the Chief City Architect, Bratislava City.

The latest versions of these tools will be launched at the end of this month. Prototypes are already available on the project website, www.resin-cities.eu. The tools will be presented at Open European Day on 25th April 2018, which is organised by ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability and the European Environment Agency and co-organised by the RESIN project.

For more information about the RESIN project, click here.

2 March 2018

CitiesIPCC marks new era for cooperation between science and cities on climate change: and the RESIN project is part of it

A global climate research agenda will be announced at the Cities and Climate Change Science Conference next week in Edmonton.

In an article published this week in Nature in the lead-up to the conference, leading climate experts identified among the most pressing priorities for cities and climate-change research, “Comparative studies are needed… in different contexts to disentangle these interactions and to find solutions. We need to know how urban morphologies, building materials and human activities affect atmospheric circulation, heat and light radiation, urban energy and water budgets.” The authors called on researchers and city authorities to extend the quantity and types of urban data collected.

Jeremy Carter, University of Manchester, will attend the conference to present the RESIN project’s Climate Risk Typology, which will take steps towards exactly this objective. The RESIN Climate Risk Typology supports adaptation planning by offering users the means to describe, compare and analyse climate risk in European cities and regions. In addition to the IPCC, among the CitiesIPCC partner organizations providing practical support to the Cities and Climate Change Science conference is RESIN project partner ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.

At a special session organised by ICLEI during the UN Habitat World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), “CITIESIPCC: Advancing science to accelerate effective climate action in human settlements,” cities and scientists expressed their hopes for the conference to see newly partnerships forged between young researchers in the global South and experienced institutions in European cities and to lay a solid foundation for increased global collaboration on scientific research and knowledge-sharing, particularly to tackle the common challenge of climate change.

“Climate change is a uniquely global challenge; it doesn’t discriminate based on geography, and so we see its effects in every corner of the world,” said IPCC Co-Chair Dr. Debra Roberts. “Our response must also be global, uniting people across cities, countries and continents. That enables us to share best practices based in sound science to meet global commitments that will create a more sustainable and just urban world for future generations.” The conference will bring together 750 scientists, policymakers, researchers, and development experts.

Download the poster presented at http://www.resin-cities.eu/index.php?id=145.

23 February 2018

RESIN project welcomes over 15 cities to Manchester for Stakeholder Dialogue event

The RESIN project welcomed 52 participants, including representatives of over 15 cities from across Europe to Manchester (United Kingdom) on 1st February 2018 for the project’s first Stakeholder Dialogue. RESIN has been working with cities since 2015 to co-create tools for adaptation planning in European cities.

Manchester in the north of England is facing rainier days and unpredictable weather. The event day saw wildly changeable weather, reflecting the agenda for the day: how just one place (and one project) can be a meeting point for common conditions in otherwise diverse locations. Even sunny southern cities could find common ground with Manchester. Ileana Luminița Balalau, Project Manager, Environmental Protection Agency Covasna, said, “We are facing heat waves and also floods.” Mark Atherton, Director of Environment, Greater Manchester, has gone through the same experience during “Boxing Day floods two years ago, where in the space of 24 hours we had several months’ worth, almost, of rainfall.”

City spotlights: flooding

The City of Lahti (Finland) is focusing on adapting to potential flooding from stormwater in densely built and non-permeable areas, especially the city centre. “We are interested in hearing how the RESIN tools can support our strategic adaptation plan and citizen-involved processes,” said Eira Rosberg, Sustainable Development Coordinator for Lahti. Newcastle’s biggest challenge is not from river flooding but from surface water flooding or flash flooding. In a shocking picture painted by Newcastle City Council’s Helen Hinds and John Robinson, “we had a month’s worth of rainfall in a very short space of time: the city ground to a halt” and “at least 500 properties were affected.”

For Reykjavik,”The main adaptation challenge that we are facing is sea level rise.” Major risk factors, including areas prone to flooding, will be introduced into the district plan and a plan will be formed for necessary counter measures. Reykjavik aims to be carbon neutral by 2040, but, “the main challenge is breaking people out of silos to work together to solve adaptation challenges.”

Researchers respond

The RESIN Climate Risk Typology will be an interactive online portal that support adaptation planning by offering users the means to describe, compare and analyse climate risk in European cities and regions. Climate risk encompasses many social and demographic factors that are important and interesting to citizens. As Burgas representatives pointed out, the facility to display different statistics about a region’s specific social and demographic conditions that contribute to climate risk can be a particularly useful tool for dissemination and awareness-raising among citizens. A risk-based Vulnerability Assessment using IVAVIA (Impact and vulnerability analysis for critical infrastructures and built-up areas) helps cities identify geographical risk and vulnerability hotspots, understand the cause-effect relationships of climate change, and assess its demographic, economic and local impacts now and for the future. This helps identify entry-points for adaptation measures and areas where priority action is needed. IVAVIA has been applied to the RESIN core city of Bilbao with regard to flooding.

Maddalen Mendizabal of Tecnalia offered the cities suffering from floods and heat stress some suggestions for finding replicable case studies. The RESIN Adaptation Options Library draws together hundreds of relevant papers and study cases on the performance of climate change adaptation measures in a database covering measures relating to heat, pluvial, fluvial and coastal floods, and drought – among other things. Once complete, each of the tools will be hosted in an online decision support system called the e-Guide. The e-Guide will accompany and support cities throughout their adaptation processes, allows practitioners to save their progress and relevant documentation in one online space, and providing convenient access to content supporting this process, including the remaining three tools developed by RESIN.

Getting to know the tools – and taking them forward

The Manchester event was a “dialogue” with two-way exchange and learning encouraged throughout the day. After two rounds of discussion, the afternoon focused on practical encounters with the tools under development in the RESIN tools marketplace. Cities visited parallel stations where the tool developers addressed their questions, proposed useful applications for their unique contexts and demonstrated their use.

The next release of the RESIN tools will take place in March 2018.

To read the full article and for pictures of the event, see http://www.resin-cities.eu/newsroom/stakeholder-dialogue/.

21 February 2018

European cities face more extreme weather than previously thought

A landmark study shows the impact of flooding, droughts and heatwaves by 2050-2100 will exceed previous predictions. The research is the outcome of the recently-concluded RAMSES project, where ICLEI worked with scientists and cities to deliver evidence of climate change impacts and the costs and benefits of adaptation measures.

Published last week in the academic journal Environmental Research Letters, the study shows:

- a worsening of heatwaves for all 571 cities

- increasing drought conditions, particularly in southern Europe

- an increase in river flooding, especially in north-western European cities

- for the worst projections, increases in all hazards for most European cities

“Although southern European regions are adapted to cope with droughts, this level of change could be beyond breaking point,” Dr Selma Guerreiro, lead author, explains.

European cities will meet at the Open European Day at Bonn Resilient Cities on 25th April 2018 to discuss exactly this objective. ICLEI members Helsinki (Finland), Rome (Italy) and Lisbon (Portugal), identified in the RAMSES study, are front and centre in this initiative. Susanna Kankaanpää, City of Helsinki will exchange with Thessaloniki (Greece) and Paris (France) on climate change adaptation monitoring and evaluation. Pierluigi Potenza, Rome, will discuss Protection of Infrastructure with Bristol, Manchester (United Kingdom) and San Sebastian (Spain). Jose Silva Ferreira (Lisbon) will work with Vaxjö (Sweden) and Enschede (Netherlands) to find solutions for Adaptive Water Management.

For the high impact scenario, 98% of European cities could see worse droughts in the future and cities in Southern Europe may experience droughts up to 14 times worse than today. Lisbon (Portugal) is among the top capital cities for increases in frequency and magnitude of droughts. Of the European capitals, Helsinki (Finland) is among the cities most likely to experience the most extreme rise in flooding. Rome (Italy) is one of the cities likely to see the greatest increase in number of heat-wave days.

“The research highlights the urgent need to design and adapt our cities to cope with these future conditions,” says Professor Richard Dawson, co-author and lead investigator of the study.

Registration is open for Open European Day at https://resilientcities2018.iclei.org/.

22 January 2018

EPICURO project newsletter

The EPICURO – European Partnership for Innovative Cities within an Urban Resilient Outlook project has launched its first newsletter. EPICURO brings together a total of 10 EU partner (5 cities and 5 technical organizations) and aims to promote the sharing of good practices in urban resilience and climate change adaptation implemented at international, European and local level.

EPICURO is a twin project of RESIN and Smart Mature Resilience.

In this edition:

- EPICURO at a glance

- Come and meet us!

- Our first 10 months: achieved results

- Twinning projects

Download the newsletter here.

20 December 2017

CRITIS conference: Call for papers

In 2018, the International Conference on Critical Information Infrastructures Security faces its 13th anniversary.

CRITIS 2018 continues the tradition of presenting innovative research and exploring new challenges in the field of critical (information) infrastructures protection (C(I)IP), resilience and fostering the dialogue with stakeholders.

CRITIS 2018 aims at bringing together researchers, professionals from academia, critical (information) infrastructure operators,

industry, defence sector and governmental organisations working in the field of the security of critical (information) infrastructure systems.

As in previous years, invited speakers will complement a programme of original research contributions. The conference invites the different research communities and disciplines involved in the C(I)IP space, and encourages discussions and multi-disciplinary approaches to relevant C(I)IP problems.

The Projects' Dissemination Session will be an opportunity of dissemination for ongoing European, multinational, and national projects.

Besides, this CRITIS conference has a special focus on current and uture energy infrastructures within a special session Energy infrastructure operators and stakeholders: key challenges and solution directions,Invited key experts from the energy sector will share their experience in the field.

›› Deadline for full - text submission is 30 April 2018.

11 December 2017

RESIN project: to support resilient cities and their infrastructures

Horizon 2020 RESIN project develops standardised approaches to increase the resilience of Europe’s cities and urban areas to extreme weather and climate change. RESIN has a specific focus on ensuring that critical infrastructures are better integrated into this process.

The heart of the RESIN project's approach lies in the co-creation between the partner cities and the research institutes developing the products of the project. This process is actively supported by ICLEI (as a city network and knowledge brokerage organisation) and Arcadis from the viewpoint of a consultancy company.

The main products of the RESIN project include:

- A typology for European cities for adaptation to climate change that can be used to identify cities and regions with similar risk and adaptation profile;

- Detailed guidance for an impact and vulnerability analysis (IVAVIA) including tools such as an impact chain diagram creator, and aggregation and calculation support;

- A database of possible adaptation options with due attention for harmonisation of effectiveness and cost-efficiency information;

- Standardised methods for prioritising between these adaptation measures which will be an input for an adaptation pathway design;

- A common unifying framework for the adaptation decision making process, with associated methods, tools and datasets created to support decision-making at appropriate stages, in the form of an e-Guide;

- Inputs for the international and European Standardisation organisations to enhance the standardisation of approaches in climate change adaptation.

The policy implications of the RESIN project: Panel discussion in a project meeting in November 2017

At the occasion of the RESIN November 2017 consortium meeting held in Brussels, a panel discussed the outcomes of the project in the light of EU policies and European urban challenges:

- the urban risk typology have a value both for individual cities, allowing them to identify and learn from comparable cities, and for national and EU institutions, that can use the typology for developing policies and distributing funding covering the variety of cities and regions in Europe;

- equally all the harmonisation and standardization work within RESIN is beneficial for the cities and their stakeholders as it improves the quality of risk assessments and adaptation strategy making, and it contributes to more comparability between cities;

- from the audience the development of a “stress-test” for cities to demonstrate where they are vulnerable to current and future extreme weather conditions was recommended;

- a recurring topic was the value added of the co-creation process that is at the heart of the project. While it obviously contributes to the development of tools that are better and more widely applicable, it also contributes to the scientific quality of the research. The consortium was invited to publish on this aspect.

If you are interested in learning more about this project, don't miss RESIN upcoming events:

- RESIN Stakeholder Dialogue," Solutions for strategic adaptation planning in European cities“, 1st February 2018, Manchester, UK.

- Open European Day at Bonn Resilient Cities, 25th April 2018, Bonn, Germany.

1 December 2017

RESIN meeting looks to the future of urban climate change adaptation

The RESIN project consortium met in Brussels (Belgium) on 23-24 November 2017 to consider the project outputs in an international policy context and to plan for the project’s final year.

Cities in Europe are approaching a crucial time in terms of finding solutions for climate change adaptation. RESIN is optimally placed to advise and guide policy developments on a local and international level on the topic of urban adaptation.

The RESIN partner cities have been central players in the RESIN project, providing knowledge to improve the project tools’ quality. Alberto Terenzi, ICLEI Europe, explained: “We wanted to adjust the timing of the tool development to match cities’ needs.” The RESIN cities have already begun using the tools, and have made progress on adaptation with them despite the tools not being developed to completion.

The Impact and Vulnerability Analysis (IVAVIA) tool helps to link vulnerability and risk. Manchester and Bilbao (Spain) have been central in the development of this tool and have both developed impact chains as part of the process. Up to now, Greater Manchester has completed a case study, baseline assessment, priority impact chains and a two-stage risk assessment, with flood risk and transport infrastructure a particular focus.

Mikel González-Vara, Manager of Environmental Strategy, City of Bilbao, said: “We have to connect to our environment. We are four cities, but surrounding us there are further cities with related problems.”

Bilbao is looking ahead to the city’s new Adaptation Plan, which will be submitted next year. As part of RESIN, Bilbao developed an impact chain for flooding in built-up areas. This is a very real and immediate risk for the rainy coastal city. Similarly, Bratislava (Slovakia) is planning to use the RESIN adaptation options library to evaluate the action plan for climate change adaptation progress every two years.

The tools of the RESIN project are useful as a complementary combined suite of tools, hosted in an online guidance platform called the “eGuide”. The final RESIN tools will be launched in spring 2018. RESIN will hold its first public event aimed at city practitioners in Greater Manchester on 1 February 2018.

For more information, visit the RESIN project website.

28 November 2017

RESIN maps out the next steps in solutions for strategic adaptation planning in European cities at Brussels meeting

The RESIN project consortium met in Brussels on 23-24 November 2017 to consider the project outputs in an international policy context and to invite guidance from the projects Advisory Board and reviewers.

The RESIN project’s ideal partnership of pioneering research experts and active city representatives uniquely position the project as creators of a complete adaptation action package. The RESIN tools, which are now nearing completion, will be the first of their kind, going beyond local cases and consolidating accumulated experience and knowledge to generate reliable, evidence-supported toolkits that will be both scientifically novel and user-friendly.

“We are approaching a crucial time in terms of solution finding.”

Diogo de Gusmao-Soerensen (DG Research, Head of Climate Services) stressed the importance of impact and policy relevance of research projects. As a European-funded project, RESIN is optimally placed to advise and guide policy developments on a local and international level on the topic of climate change adaptation in cities. Developments at the recent 2017 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23) held in Bonn (Germany) showed that the issues addressed in this project are crucial. This topic of research and discussion is incredibly important and pertinent. European Union member states have made vital commitments to climate change at COP23 and must lead and bolster their peers in the international community to commit to climate change action.

“To some communities around the world, climate change of 1.5 degrees is high end climate change.”

An appeal was made to the project consortium to ensure that the high-end scenarios are taken on board when dealing with resilience. It is also important to take into account the economic aspects of adaptation and to focus on finding and offering solution to climate change adaptation challenges.

“We wanted to adjust the timing of the tool development to match cities’ needs.”

The RESIN partner cities have been central players in the RESIN project. While the original concept of the project was that the four core cities of Greater Manchester, Bratislava, Bilbao and Paris would test the tools developed by the research institutions, this relationship has developed to involve the cities in an even more central role. The project has aimed for optimal compatibility between tool development and strategic development in the cities by adjusting the timing of the tool development with the city’s local milestones. Further than the cities’ knowledge being applied to improve the tools’ quality, the RESIN cities have been able to already make progress on adaptation through the tools before the tools have even been developed to completion. Workshops focusing on knowledge transfer workshops showed the success of the co-creation process, as they demonstrated that the tools were also applicable to external (Tier 2) cities.

“Having something red green and amber for risk registries can be useful for cities.”

In terms of linking vulnerability and risk assessment, the Impact and Vulnerability Analysis (IVAVIA) tool has been a useful step as part of the co-creation process. Adaptation has been placed high on the agenda in the RESIN partner cities. The RESIN cities of Manchester and Bilbao have been central in the development of this tool and have both developed impact chains as part of the process.

Greater Manchester carried out a process of consultation to establish which impact chains to develop. Two were selected: road transport and green infrastructure. Supported by their RESIN co-creation partner, the Fraunhofer Institute, they held initial stakeholder workshops to establish the impact chains. This work aims to support decision-makers in Greater Manchester to push forward the adaptation and resilience agenda. Up to now, Greater Manchester has completed a case study, baseline assessment, priority impact chains and a two-stage risk assessment. Flood risk and transport infrastructure are a particular focus.

“We have to connect to our environment. We are four cities, but surrounding us there are further cities with related problems.”

Bilbao is looking ahead to the city’s new Adaptation Plan, which will be submitted next year. As part of their work on the development of IVAVIA, Bilbao developed an impact chain for flooding in built-up areas. This is a very real and immediate risk for the rainy coastal city. An impact chain was also developed about the impact of extreme precipitation on city traffic infrastructure. The process in Bilbao has shown the importance of cross-cutting data administration and the need for co-creation, not only within the RESIN project but to improve projects across the municipality.

Bratislava has been working with Tecnalia to develop a database of adaptation options. In the case of Bratislava, this co-creation process has been very closely linked to strategic processes in the city. Bratislava published a new “Action plan for adaptation to negative effects of climate change” in 2017. The city is planning to use the RESIN adaptation options library to evaluate the action plan for climate change adaptation progress every two years.

Bratislava found the adaptation options library to be useful for a number of purposes:

1) Adaptation planning for relevant departments, together with the outcomes of the vulnerability assessment

2) Preparing new concept and strategies for design of public space

3) For meeting standards and limits set by competition rules

The tools of the RESIN project are useful as a complementary combined suite of tools, which provide cities with comprehensive decision support taking them though the whole climate change adaptation planning process. This suite is hosted in an online guidance platform called the “eGuide”. A prototype eGuide is already available online at e-guide.resin.itti.com.pl. An update is planned for Spring 2018 and the final version will be released in Autumn 2018.

The eGuide has been developed for and by the end users. It provides practical information, guidance, the suite of RESIN tools and a structure to document and save the reports and materials a city develops as part of the climate change adaptation planning process. This answers to the reality in cities where strategies can develop over several years, and in the case of staff circulation, new staff need an integrated platform to find information on processes that may span across several municipal departments and involve public-private actors.

The final RESIN tools will be launched in Spring 2018. RESIN will hold its first public event aimed at city practitioners in Greater Manchester on 1st February: Solutions for strategic adaptation planning in European cities.

27 November 2017

ICLEI's SMR project website wins .eu Web Award

The Smart Mature Resilience (SMR) website, developed and managed by the ICLEI European Secretariat in Freiburg (Germany), was awarded the .eu Web Award 2017 in "The Laurels" category at a prestigious ceremony in Brussels (Belgium) on 21 November. The award ceremony was organised by EURid, the registration system for the .eu domain name on behalf of the European Commission.

In “The Laurels” category, the best websites for education, institutions and European projects compete for the award. Thanks to consistently high communication competence and content quality, ICLEI was able to win the award for a second year in a row. In 2016, ICLEI won the award in the “Better World” category for the www.mobilityweek.eu website. The winning website receives a video about the project and the website.

Speaking about the award, Ruud Schuthof, ICLEI Europe Deputy Regional Director for communications, said: "The .eu web award is a great honour for ICLEI and is a recognition of ICLEI's quality and longstanding experience in the field of communication on the topic of sustainability in cities. To have won the award for the second time confirms our work's merit."

Jose Maria Sarriegi, coordinator of the SMR project, added: “It is an honor to be recognised as the best webpage in the Laurels category of the Eurid web awards. We hope this award will increase the number of cities using the tools available in our website, which is our main objective.”

For more information about the SMR project, visit the project website.

13 November 2017

Strengthening Europe's resilience backbone: 9 new cities join SMR at Thessaloniki launch event

Representatives of 19 cities and municipalities met in Thessaloniki on 7th November for the Smart Mature Resilience project's Stakeholder Dialogue event. 9 cities became the newest members of the SMR project, joining the project’s 7 cities, which have been working with researchers for the last 2 years to develop tools to support cities in strategically developing their resilience. The cities to join the Tier 3 group were identified on the basis of experience and knowledge of resilience development. The event marked the launch of the project's third circle of cities aiming to build a backbone of resilient cities in Europe.

Four of the cities have developed this knowledge through membership of ICLEI: the Greater Amman Municipality (Jordan), Malmö (Sweden), Münster (Germany) and Rekjavik (Iceland), or participation in projects like the RESIN project (www.resin-cities.eu) in partnership with ICLEI, in the case of Greater Manchester (United Kingdom), or are part of other projects and international networks: Athens (Greece), Malaga (Spain), Stirling (United Kingdom) and Thessaloniki (Greece).

As a true dialogue, the new cities were active contributors to the event as well as receiving training from the project's Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities and research partners. Aphrodite Bouikidis, Resilient Thessaloniki, presented Thessaloniki's Resilience Strategy, presenting the city's general resilience goals: Shape a Thriving and Sustainable City, Co-create an Inclusive City, Build a Dynamic Urban Economy and Responsive City and Re-discover the City's Relationship with the Sea.

Giorgos Dimarelos, Deputy Mayor for Urban Resilience and Development Planning, shared Thessaloniki’s journey towards resilience amid intense challenges, including the financial crisis, the challenge of integrating refugees, and adverse weather effects from climate change. Steps by the city council have produced positive results in creating cooperative relationships with stakeholders, establishing a promising basis for achieving the city's goals, such as tackling unemployment and re-establishing a meaningful connection between the city and its coastline. The Deputy Mayor demonstrated how the city had successfully won support from the regional government to develop the coastline area in collaboration with neighbouring municipalities.

The cities of Kristiansand, Greater Manchester and San Sebastian are, like Thessaloniki, coastal cities, and each city shared their experience with working with critical infrastructure providers, first responders and citizens to deal with crisis situations caused by flooding, and to develop preparedness and resilience to flooding as part of the cities' daily work. Kristiansand and San Sebastian are applying the tools of the SMR project to conduct self-assessment and audit of the city's policies and current levels of investment in resilience, as well as considering the interdependencies of risk using the Risk Systemicity Questionnaire (RSQ). These cities are now serving as guides and peer trainers to their Tier 3 partner cities to pass on the knowledge they have developed through the SMR project.

The city of Amman, Jordan, shares challenges with some European cities. The population in the city has more than doubled in the last decade due to the war in neighbouring Syria, and the municipality has been working overtime to provide support to the new inhabitants and stretch the city’s infrastructure and housing to accommodate the unprecedented population pressures. Its ICLEI member peer, Malmö, has also introduced programmes in response to refugees seeking asylum from war, and the cities could compare challenges, risks and policies that have been implemented in both cities.

The event proceeded with training on the SMR City Dynamics Model. Cities were divided into groups and played the project's serious game to play in a simulation sandbox and experiment with the effects of different budget options. As budget experiments cannot be carried out in real life in cities, simulations provide a way for practitioners and decision-makers to try out different investment options in a safe environment. The game helps users to better understand the Resilience Maturity Model and to see through trial and error playing, the significant benefit of implementing policies in the order laid out in the Resilience Maturity Model.

The cities participated in a training session on the SMR Risk Systemicity Questionnaire (RSQ). The participants were divided into 5 groups, with a mix of city representatives in each group. Each group was facilitated by a Tier 1 or 2 city representative who had been involved in the development of the RSQ, with support from Strathclyde or an experienced user of the RSQ. Each group addressed different topics in the RSQ: Public Unrest; Elderly; Social Cohesion; Critical Infrastructure; Climate Change – air pollution.

There was a high level of debate and involvement about risk scenarios and potential strategies that could be implemented to prepare for interconnected risks. The groups were able to experience focused discussion on risk scenarios in cities facilitated by use of the RSQ. The Tier 3 cities were able to quickly understand how the tool worked and were able to use in in a trial run in practice. Some Tier 3 cities were already confident in their plans to run RSQ-based workshops locally.

Clara Grimes (ICLEI Europe) trained the cities on approaches for communicating best practices for resilience in cities based on narrative methods. Effectively communicating projects and policies in story form is essential so that citizens, stakeholders, other departments of the municipality and the media can better understand and connect with a city’s aims and progress. The cities of Stirling (UK), Malmö (Sweden), Glasgow (UK), Vejle (Denmark) and Rome (Italy) then applied these methods to tell the story of their local best practices to the cities and stakeholders present at the event, including community group activities in Stirling, crisis management in Malmö, resilience education in schools in Glasgow and a programme where a design school ‘designed’ ways for severely disabled people to make meaningful friendships beyond their professional relationships with their carers. Further resilience stories are available for reference in the SMR Policies Tool. Finally, researchers from the Center for Integrated Emergency Management presented on the SMR Resilience Information Portal and how cities can pick and choose code from this portal toolbox to supplement their resilience management information infrastructure.

The Tier 3 programme will continue with online training webinars and an in-person Stakeholder Workshop as part of the Breakfast at Sustainability's event series in Brussels on 7th March.

1 November 2017

Paris hosts Knowledge Transfer Workshop

The city of Paris hosted the RESIN project’s second ‘knowledge transfer workshop’ from 18-19th October 2017. This was the first time the core cities of Paris and Bilbao met their Tier 2 city counterparts in person from: Alba (Italy), Almada (Portugal), Athens (Greece), London (United Kingdom), Padua (Italy), Strasbourg (France), Warsaw (Poland) and Zadar (Croatia). The idea behind the workshops was to spark peer-to-peer exchange between the cities and to introduce the RESIN tools to the tier-2 cities, particularly the IVAVIA tool, the Adaptation Options Library and the E-Guide.

Each tool was allocated its own session where it was presented followed by an active "hands-on" training. Each training session was followed by a “replicability and usability check” session, where the tier-2 cities gave their feedback on the tools, and offered suggestions for how to make the tools more compatible with cities’ needs.

IVAVIA stands for Impact and Vulnerability Analysis of Vital Infrastructures and built-up Areas. The overall aim of a risk-based vulnerability assessment using IVAVIA is to help cities understand the cause-effect relationships of climate change and to assess what impact on people, economy and built-up area under study can be expected now and for the future due to the changing climate. The RESIN cities have been closely involved in developing IVAVIA, and as part of this process, they have developed ‘impact chains’ for their cities. At the Paris workshop, the participating cities were shown how to conduct an impact chain and practically apply it in a "‘Train the trainers’ session: how to conduct an impact chain workshop". Each cities picked a hazard that they are dealing with in practice, which was primarily floods and heat waves, and then identified the exposed object, indicators, attributes stressors, and impacts. Then, as part of a "Replicability and Usability Check" feedback round, where the cities shared their experience on developing impact chains.

RESIN is developing a searchable archive, which will host the above tools as well as documentation on adaptation measures previously implemented in different cities: this is called the Adaptation Options Library. The library comprises a database hosting literature related to the performance of adaptation options with almost 300 papers and over 700 case studies. The cities tested a mock-up version of the tool by coming up with examples of threats from their cities and using the library to search for potential adaptation options that they could use to tackle those threats.

The RESIN e-Guide is designed to provide decision support for climate change adaptation planning by city administrators. It lays out the steps and activities involved in an urban adaptation process, provides user-oriented support to carry out this process, directs users towards relevant sources of information and hosts the RESIN decision support tools.

At the second Knowledge Transfer Workshop in Paris, the very first version of the E-Guide was made accessible to the participants. The cities were able to play around with and test the E-Guide. The participating tier-1 and tier-2 cities were also asked in parallel to fill out an evaluation form to inform further fine-tuning of the tool.

In two city sessions, tier-1 city interacted with its tier-2 peers to get to know each other and share challenges and solutions. Representatives of Paris and Athens found a common challenges they share: heat waves, and Paris was interested to learn about the digital application "CoolAthens", which is part of the "Treasure" project and identifies cool spots for vulnerable populations during heat waves.

16 October 2017

Paris to host RESIN Knowledge Transfer Workshop

The RESIN project will hold its second Knowledge Transfer in Paris (France) from 18-19 October 2017. At the workshop, Marie Gantois of the City of Paris, will share the city's goals, activities and challenges related to climate change adaptation, outline how the city has been using the RESIN project to address these challenges, and present the key results for the French capital from participation in the project so far. Miguel González Vara and Susana Ruiz Fernandez of the City of Bilbao (Spain) will discuss Bilbao’s adaptation context and activities, and present how the city is adapting to climate change through RESIN.

During the Knowledge Transfer Workshop, cities will receive interactive training on three of RESIN’s tools: Impact and Vulnerability Analysis of Vital Infrastructures and built-up Areas (IVAVIA), the Adaptation Options Library, and the e-Guide. The RESIN project’s IVAVIA tool supports and guides the process of impact and vulnerability analysis for critical infrastructures and built-up areas. The Adaptation Options Library is a searchable archive that hosts the suite of RESIN tools as well as documentation on adaptation measures implemented in different cities.

The RESIN project will hold two Knowledge Transfer Workshops and two Stakeholder Dialogues. One workshop per core city - Bratislava (Slovakia), Paris Greater Manchester (UK) and Bilbao, (Spain) - will be organised to kick-off the 2-tier group engagement. The 17 Tier 2 cities are: Alba (Italy), Almada (Portugal), Athens (Greece), Burgas (Bulgaria), London (UK), Lahti (Finland), Newcastle (UK), Nijmegen (Netherlands), Padua (Italy), Radom (Poland), Reykjavík (Iceland), Sfântu Gheorghe (Romania), Strasbourg (France), Ghent (Belgium), Vilnius (Lithuania), Warsaw (Poland) and Zadar (Croatia). Crucial local infrastructure stakeholders from the core cities will attend the workshops and exchange with their Tier 2 peers.

The first Knowledge Transfer Workshop was held in June in Bratislava. This has already led to exchange and collaboration, as Bratislava visited their Tier 2 equivalents in Reykjavik following the first Knowledge Transfer Workshop.

For more information, visit the RESIN website.

11 October 2017

Interactive training and city knowledge exchange at second Knowledge Transfer Workshop in Paris

The RESIN project will hold its second Knowledge Transfer in Paris from 18th -19th October 2017. At the workshop, Marie Gantois, city of Paris, will share the city's goals, activities and challenges related to climate change adaptation, how the city has been using the RESIN project to address these challenges, and the key outcomes for Paris from participation in the project so far. Miguel González Vara and Susana Ruiz Fernandez, city of Bilbao, will also present and discuss Bilbao’s adaptation context and activities, and how the city is adapting to climate change through RESIN.

The workshop will include interactive training on three of RESIN’s tools: Impact and Vulnerability Analysis of Vital Infrastructures and built-up Areas (IVAVIA), the Adaptation Options Library and the e-Guide. The RESIN project’s IVAVIA tool supports and guides the process of impact and vulnerability analysis for critical infrastructures and built-up areas. The Adaptation Options Library is a searchable archive that hosts the suite of RESIN tools as well as documentation on adaptation measures previously implemented in different cities. The library has a collaborative element where partners and other users can log in to upload or edit content. During the Knowledge Transfer Workshop, cities will be trained on how to use the tool’s features to select and prioritise adaptation options.

The RESIN e-Guide is designed to provide decision support for climate change adaptation planning by city administrators. It provides an overview of the various steps and activities of the urban adaptation process, and provides the practical, user-oriented support to actually perform such an adaptation process. It connects users to the most relevant sources of information and supporting methods available on the web, including providing interfaces for brand-new tools that are being developed by the RESIN partners. It helps users choose the best approaches, methods, tools and information sources for particular situations and particular steps and links with references to evidence-based information. Participants will engage with the e-Guide in a ‘Gallery Walk’, where they walk will along a physical path through the e-Guide’s topical themes and discuss and explore the more pressing and promising issues for them. The cities’ experience and impressions of the tools will be discussed and taken on board to feed into further development and dissemination of the tools.

The RESIN project will hold two Knowledge Transfer Workshops and two Stakeholder Dialogues throughout the project. One workshop per core city (Bratislava, Paris, Greater Manchester and Bilbao) will be organised in close cooperation with the core cities to kick-off the 2-tier group engagement. The 17 Tier 2 cities are: Alba (Italy), Almada (Portugal), Athens (Greece), Burgas (Bulgaria), London (UK), Lahti (Finland), Newcastle (UK), Nijmegen (Netherlands), Padua (Italy), Radom (Poland), Reykjavík (Iceland), Sfântu Gheorghe (Romania), Strasbourg (France), Ghent (Belgium), Vilnius (Lithuania), Warsaw (Poland) and Zadar (Croatia). Crucial local infrastructure stakeholders from the respective core cities will attend the workshops and exchange with their Tier 2 peers.

The first Knowledge Transfer Workshop was held in June in Bratislava. This has already led to exchange and collaboration on the initiative of the cities, as Bratislava visited their Tier 2 equivalents in Reykjavik following the first Knowledge Transfer Workshop. For more information, please see http://www.resin-cities.eu/newsroom/news-archive/?c=search&uid=c1b869ec.

9 October 2017

Smart Mature Resilience to launch new programme and workshops at Thessaloniki event

Nine ambitious local governments will join stakeholders from seven European cities in kicking off a new city collaboration programme as part of the Smart Mature Resilience (SMR) project at a Stakeholder Dialogue in Thessaloniki (Greece) on 7 November 2017.

The event will see participating cities sharing and exchanging local government policies and tools for strategically building city resilience. European cities are facing increasingly frequent and intense hazards and risks as climate change and changing social demographics place their critical infrastructures under increasing pressure. Sharing good practices can help them plan ahead for known and unknown shocks and stresses.

As part of the SMR project, three so-called “Tier 1” cities, Glasgow (UK), Kristiansand (Norway) and Donostia/San Sebastian (Spain), have co-developed a suite of tools to support them and other cities in planning, budgeting and identifying replicable policies towards their resilience goals. A second group of “Tier 2” cities, Bristol (UK), Riga (Latvia), Rome (Italy) and Vejle (Denmark), has been closely observing and providing feedback on this process.

At the one-day Stakeholder Dialogue, these cities will share their knowledge of these tools and contextualise them in terms of real policies to a new group of “Tier 3” cities including Amman (Jordan), Athens (Greece), Greater Manchester (UK), Malaga (Spain), Malmö (Sweden), Reykjavik (Iceland), Stirling (UK) and Thessaloniki (Greece). The event will be officially opened by the Mayor of Thessaloniki, Yiannis Boutaris.

Research as part of SMR has found that cities and their critical infrastructure are interdependent, and that cities can help further boost their own resilience by supporting and fostering resilience in other cities. SMR is supporting the potential for replication by working towards international standards in city resilience management.

The first CEN workshop initiated by SMR, spearheaded by German standardisation organisation DIN, CEN WS/88 - Functional Specification for a Resilience Information Portal is underway. Two further envisaged CEN Workshop Agreements, City Resilience Development - Maturity Model and City Resilience Development - Operational Guidance, will kick off in Thessaloniki on 8 November, following the Stakeholder Dialogue. To join the standardization processes, please contact rene.lindner@din.de.

For further information, visit the project website.

2 October 2017

City of Bratislava exchanges with Reykjavik's Experts on Climate Change Adaptation in Iceland

The capital city of Bratislava participated in the 8th international conference of the Society for Disaster Risk Management "Dimensions of Disaster Risk Reduction and Society Resilience in a Complex World" which took place on 23-25 August, in Reykjavík (Iceland). In addition to the conference, the Office of the Chief Architect represented the RESIN project in a visit the City Hall of Reykjavík in order to meet the city's experts for climate change adaptation, whom they first met during the 1st Knowledge Transfer Workshop organised by ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability in Bratislava on 12-13 June 2017.

Among the main topics of the conference were the increase in natural disasters due to climate change such as drought, floods, forest fires and overheating of the urban environment, which also resonate with Central Europe and Bratislava. The city of Bratislava presented outputs from several projects that are related to climate change risk. One of the contributions focused on Bratislava´s experience in the RESIN project, which was prepared together with Faculty of Natural Sciences of the UK in Bratislava and Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems in Germany. The aim was to provide insight on how tools for reducing climate change risks and impacts are developed by researchers and later tested and used by the four city partners in the project. In Bratislava city, these tools are tested and in order to be finally used in urban planning, adaptation planning and decision making, which is in the project referred to as the process of co-creation. The presentation summed up the lessons learned from RESIN and from practical work on the side of implementation of blue and green adaptation measures. The take-home message for Bratislava from this conference is that adaptation planning goes beyond building green and blue infrastructure and should also encompass the planning of preparedness for climate change hazards and minimising the risk they impose for health of citizens but also damage or loss to property, with a special focus on awareness raising and communication in risk management.

Thanks to the cooperation as part of the RESIN project among 1-tier and 2-tier cities, it was possible to meet the representatives of Reykjavík City hall, who also participated in the 1st Knowledge Transfer Workshop and exchange experience with the implementation of adaptation measures in a dynamically changing urban environment that has to withstand the adverse impacts of climate change, such as heavy rainfall and other extreme weather events. In Reykjavik, this problem is solved by diverting water from roads and other impermeable areas to areas that are covered with vegetation or wetlands. Despite the fact that Iceland uses almost exclusively renewable energy (geothermal and water) to meet its energy needs, Reykjavik plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions also by revitalizing wetlands and urban greenery, including its woody component, which can absorb most greenhouse gases. An example of such a wetland is the Vatnsmýrin, which was revitalized on the territory of the city near the University of Iceland and includes an educational walkway that brings its significance closer to visitors and residents of the city.

Like Reykjavik, the capital city of Bratislava is balancing the need for urban development and densification with pleasant and safe urban environment for living. For Bratislava, this mostly concerns reintroducing green areas into the city, which would make the city's microclimate more pleasant during heatwaves and help prevent damage after extremely heavy rainfall. Pilot projects of such adaptation measures have been carried out within the framework of the "Bratislava is preparing for climate change" project, financed by the EEA grants and Norways Grants (project duration 2014-2017).

"Bratislava has had an active approach in adaption to climate change and protecting drinking water resources. Through the presentation of individual projects, it will be possible to continue to cooperate in the future and to establish contacts with foreign partners in implementing concrete measures to increase the adaptation of cities to climate change," said Ingrid Konrad, Chief Architect, City of Bratislava.

29 September 2017

News from related resilience projects

The EPICURO project has published their Urban Resilience SWOT Analysis Guidance: http://www.epicurocp.eu/2017/08/07/epicuro-task-b-swot-analysis-peer-peer-workshop-meeting-salaspils-2-august-2017/. The aim of such guidance is to enable Partner Cities to analyze local issues, with the engagement and contribution of stakeholders in creating Urban Resilience Strategic Teams (URST), and thereby also identify the best practices which can be applied and transferred through the LASPs.

The GRACeFUL project has published their latest newsletter. Read it on the GRACeFUL project website.

31 July 2017

RESIN Newsletter Issue 6

We are happy to share the sixth issue of the RESIN newsletter with

you. In this edition:

1) About RESIN: Video introduction to the RESIN project with

coordinator Peter Bosch, Tecnalia researcher EfrÉn Feliu and Deputy

Mayor of Bilbao Alfonso Gil

2) Open European Day: The RESIN project co-organized a successful

Open European Day at Bonn Resilient Cities

3) Spotlight on RESIN Tier 2 cities: Nijmegen and Radom

4) Research news: Development of the E-Guide

5) City news: Greater Manchester continues to engage with partners on

climate resilience and the RESIN project

6) Research news: Standardization

7) Co-creation news: Bratislava and vulnerability assessment

8) Related projects: New page on the RESIN website

9) Upcoming events

To read the RESIN newsletter, click here.

28 July 2017

Bratislava is adapting to climate change

The Slovakian capital of Bratislava is fast becoming a climate change adaptation champion for its local region. Through the RESIN project, Bratislava has begun to take an active role in developing and testing tools for adaptation planning. Specific conditions in Bratislava, such as climate change impacts, drivers, stressors and adaptation options, call for tailored outputs and tools, and the city is an active contributor to producing these resources. Crucial to the development process is the close relationship between cities: pilot cities in RESIN work closely together to share their experience and to share this with a wider circle of Tier 2 cities.

Such a city exchange took place as a knowledge transfer workshop held last month in Bratislava. The cities of Greater Manchester and Bratislava in collaboration with TNO, Tecnalia, Frauenhofer and ICLEI welcomed representatives of 10 RESIN Tier 2 cities to Bratislava from 13-14 June 2017. City governments and representatives from Ghent, Lahti, Covasna, Burgas, Reykjavik, Sfantu Gheorghe, Vilnius, Radom, Nijmegen and Newcastle met their Tier 1 partners in Bratislava for a 2-day knowledge transfer workshop at Faculty of Natural Sciences, Mlynská dolina, Bratislava.

During the workshop, the cities provided feedback on the RESIN vulnerability and risk assessment tool, IVAVIA. Bratislava has already developed two impact chains for “Health and wellbeing of the urban population” and “Green infrastructure” and has previously carried out vulnerability assessment. The city stakeholders were able to draw from this experience to provide tool developers with feedback on the prototype IVAVIA. Bratislava has been closely involved in the vulnerability analysis process and assessment of climate change risks. Through regular Skype meetings with RESIN research partner, Fraunhofer, the city is focusing on the process of involving stakeholders and collecting data.

Mapping and understanding vulnerability and risk is becoming increasingly important to Bratislava. The city has been facing a rapid increase in tropical nights with maximum temperatures of over 20 degrees Celsius. These hot nights have boomed in number from less than 5 in 1990 to 48 hot nights in 2013, and the trend is increasing every year. Thermovisual scanning clearly shows the benefit of green spaces and urban water features for cooling down urban areas and controlling these extreme nighttime temperatures. Local measures for adapting to this new climate reality such as green and blue infrastructure will be essential if Bratislava’s citizens are to get a good night’s sleep.

Bratislava became a pilot project of RESIN: Climate Resilient Cities and Infrastructures in 2015. Since then, it has also joined the core group of cities supporting the new Urban Water Agenda and hosted Bremen (Germany) and Arnhem (Netherlands) as part of the Mayors Adapt City Twinning Programme. In April 2017, the City parliament endorsed the “Action Plan for adaptation to climate change in Bratislava.”

The city’s next ambition is to support the usage of RESIN outputs and tools through translation into Slovak, to raise awareness of the benefits of climate change adaptation through boosting communication and stakeholder involvement, and finally, Bratislava aims to gain political commitment in order to be able to implement the results of the vulnerability assessment in the city’s master plan and urban development scenarios.

Read the full article

18 July 2017

SMR invites cities to Thessaloniki workshop on strategic resilience planning

The SMR project has been working for just over two years to develop a suite of tools to help cities enhance their resilience. These tools have been developed in close cooperation between seven partner cities of Glasgow, San Sebastian, Kristiansand, Rome, Riga, Bristol and Vejle, SMR's four university partners, ICLEI Europe and standardization body DIN.

The cities have been working with researchers to develop five strategic support and discussion formats that the cities are using to identify and select policies they should implement to address weaknesses in their resilience management, to develop long-term resilience strategies as well as structures for cross-departmental cooperation outside of the usual 'silos'.

Now that the tools are being finalised, they will be shared with a wider group of cities at a Stakeholder Dialogue event in Thessaloniki, Greece. Three tools are already available to cities: the Resilience Maturity Model, Risk Systemicity Questionnaire and Resilience Engagement and Communication Tool. Two further tools: a System Dynamics Model and a collection of Resilience Policies will be completed before the event.

Registration for the Stakeholder Dialogue will open soon. For more information, please contact clara.grimes@iclei.org.

17 July 2017

Radom: RESIN Tier 2 city

Radom (Poland) is located in the centre of Radom Plain, approximately 100km south of Warsaw, in the fork of the Vistula and Pilica rivers. At the turn of the 8th and 9th centuries, in the valley of the Mleczna river the first type of rural settlements were established, inhabited by farmers and fishermen. The settlement developed into an early-medieval town, chartered according to the Środa law, a variant of the Magdeburg law.

By the end of the 18th century Radom was in a state of neglect. The ancient city walls were in ruin. Private houses, town and ecclesiastical property were devastated and in need of renovation. Streets were muddy and difficult to pass. The Mleczna river lowlands and areas situated to the south were repeatedly flooded. There was an urgent need to dry and re-organize the town. In 1822 the regulation plan concerning organisation and expansion of Radom was approved.

One of the aims of the project was to establish new residential areas in the developing town, which already spread beyond its original medieval boundaries. In the years 1918-1945 the development of the city continued. The inclusion of Radom to the Central Industrial District allowed the creation of several factories. In 1933 a new railway line was built connecting Radom and Warsaw.

Alternating periods of flooding or drying forest are occurring more frequently than before. In 2013, the area of more than 920 ha was damaged due to interference of water relations including 560 ha of flooding area and 360 ha of drying area. Other abiotic and anthropogenic factors like low or high temperatures, frost and hail have smaller, local significance. In 2013 hail caused damage to more than 400 ha, fire affected 12 hectares while the extreme temperatures damaged 7 hectares.

Radom is planning to control flood water by implementing effective and cost-efficient green infrastructure measures, by supporting natural water retention through the restoration and preservation of natural green areas and wetlands.

Read more

4 July 2017

Study reveals heat waves in cities will increase tenfold from 2081-2100

Many European cities are experiencing extremely high temperatures this summer – a trend that municipalities are accepting will continue. According to findings by RAMSES researchers, there will be 10 times more heat wave days from 2081-2100, reaching nearly 30 heat wave days per year on average.

A study by RAMSES related to the 2003 heat wave in France found that while heat waves coincided with an increase in deaths in small towns, Paris, as a major city, suffered nearly three times the number of additional deaths during heat waves.

Why do cities tend to be warmer than their rural surroundings? Firstly, there are more buildings and soil sealing: buildings store heat during the day and release them at night. Walls cause additional radiation as they reflect the sun’s rays and reduce ventilation in narrow streets. Secondly, cities cool less due to less vegetation in city centres causing lower evaporation levels. Thirdly, humans create additional heat, such as through vehicle exhaust. The maps produced following a study in Antwerp and 101 other European cities show where in cities the highest temperatures are occurring and which areas should be prioritised for adaptation measures.

The project found that a typical western European city has a mean temperature difference at midnight of around 4oC . City temperatures on hot summer nights are 8oC -10oC higher than rural areas, as a result of less ventilation and higher populations. The RAMSES project is now completing its fifth year working with cities to promote adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development. The project is currently holding a series of free webinars, which will continue on 13 July.

For more information and to register, click here.

13 June 2017

Nijmegen: RESIN Tier 2 city

Nijmegen is located on the river Waal, between hills, polders and forests, which has been attracting people to the place for over 2,000 years. As the Netherland’s oldest city, it cherishes its history, while also realising that a sustainable future for its inhabitants is at least as important.

As of 2016, Nijmegen had 172,000 inhabitants, 75,000 houses, 80,000 cars and 250,000 bicycles. Since 1923 Nijmegen has been home to Radboud University. Together with the HAN University of Applied Sciences, it educates 40,000 students, which helps to inspire the city's youthful, modern culture.

Developing sustainably

Nijmegen is still growing. North of the Waal, the city is developing a new district with 12,000 houses. This sustainable development is based on the Ecopolis theory, whereby the basis for city development is natural infrastructure, sustainable green-blue infrastructure to store rainwater for use during dry periods and green space to provide citizens with beautiful surroundings and for recreation. The new houses are energy efficient and are largely connected to the residual heat network. A sustainable mobility system is also being developed that puts cycling and clean public transport first.

Adapting to climate change using nature

The Room for the Waal project (widening the river in the city centre) was the biggest inland climate adaptation project in Holland. People from all over the world come to visit Nijmegen for this outstanding example of water system innovation. In the heart of the city, the dike was relocated 350m and now a side channel and an island have been created in the river Waal. This River Park provides high water security and spatial quality at the same time.

The realization process involved extensive discussion and collaboration with various stakeholders. Concerns were raised before the outset by some people concerned that houses would have to be removed for high water safety reasons. However, these measures have proven to have been worth it, and citizens felt proud of the project and that the government delivered the promised outcome. The city Nijmegen took over the lead from the State government in this project, demanding a high spatial quality. The project was completed on time and within the budget. All residential areas are traffic safe (max. speed 30 km/h). Most residents go to work by bike or public transport. All city/regional busses are powered by green gas.

Climate challenges

But Nijmegen still faces the negative effects of climate change: heavy rains and heat stress. In districts built after 1965 rain and drainage water remains separated. In districts built before 1965 we disconnect streets and houses from the mixed sewer and store the rainwater into the ground. Since 2000 already 15% of the paved surface is no disconnected and more and more also grey areas are turned over into green areas (pocket parks, green roofs, green walls) together with the citizens' participation.

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9 June 2017

Connecting Nature project: nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation

The Connecting Nature project kicked off yesterday at Trinity College Dublin (Ireland). Connecting Nature is a €12m European-funded project to position Europe as a global leader in the innovation and implementation of Nature-based Solutions. Three cities: Glasgow (United Kingdom), Poznan (Poland) and Genk (Belgium) will invest in multi-million-euro large scale implementation test-beds of Nature-based Solutions, followed by eight further cities: A Coruna (Spain), Bologna (Italy), Burgas (Bulgaria), Ioannina (Greece), Malaga (Spain), Nicosia (Cyprus), Pavlos Melas (Greece) and Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

The city of Genk aims to use nature-based solutions to tackle city issues like water management, and to provide multifunctional recreational areas, for example by developing the Stiemerbeek Valley. Glasgow aims to help provide convenient access to high-quality green spaces to its citizens and to continue the innovative flood management measures that are already in place, for example climbing walls and outdoor public seating areas that also help soak up flood water. Poznan has also transformed parts of the city with some impressive innovations, for example mobile greenery and furniture in the courtyard of the City Hall, rain gardens and four new municipal beaches along the Warta river.

The project will try out natural approaches to tackle challenges related to climate change adaptation, health and well-being, social cohesion as well as sustainable economic development. A number of businesses are also partners of the project, with the aim to spur on new green companies and social enterprises. ICLEI is a partner of the project, and will engage cities internationally in China, Brazil and Korea to allow international to allow peer-to-peer learning to scale up urban resilience, innovation and governance via nature-based solutions.

For more information, please see https://twitter.com/CONNECTINGNBS.

8 June 2017

Open European Day in focus

Open European Day at Bonn Resilient Cities took place on 3rd May 2017 with over 100 participants. Representatives of European and global cities caught up with colleagues and collaborators from the climate change adaptation and resilience sector, researchers, the private sector, financiers and EU institutions. Alberto Terenzi (ICLEI Europe) and Birgit Georgi (Strong cities in a changing climate) launched directly into discussions in their opening of the event by greeting new and returning participants by microphone with some topical questions. This friendly and informal opening gave the Open European Day community a flavour of the open and conversational atmosphere that makes the day so special. To officially open the event, Birgit Georgi spotted a regular returning participant, Deputy Mayor of Bonn, Reinhard Limbach, who took to the podium with an opening sentiment on climate reality to which the cities in the audience applauded in agreement: “What used to happen once in 100 years now happens once a year.”

Facilitators Aleksandra Kazmierczak (European Environment Agency) and Holger Robrecht (ICLEI Europe) looked back over the last year in climate change adaptation, particularly the success among cities of the European Environment Agency report “Urban adaptation to climate change in Europe 2016 — Transforming cities in a changing climate,” which was launched at last year’s Open European Day and been widely used by cities since.

Cities need support in adapting to climate change

Sirpa Hertell (Committee of the Regions) joined the opening panel as a unique voice representing both the Committee of the Regions and the Finnish city and municipality Espoo, where she is a city councillor. She stressed that cities and regions should be helped to find the right combination of public and private funding for adapting to climate change, and called on researchers and universities to support cities in assessing their climate risks and vulnerability.

A lot of data and technical tools for climate change adaptation in cities have been gathered and produced, but the crucial step is making scientific results useable. This was the message from Nicolas Faivre (European Commission – DG Research) on the need for cities to articulate their needs so that they can be supported in climate action. This kind of transfer depends on exchange and co-creation between researchers and cities as well as collaborative events such as Open European Day.

Politicians need to commit to climate change adaptation

Climate hazards and extreme climate events often function as a trigger for adaptation policies to be implemented. In Vejle’s case, alongside broad work on resilience underway in the city, attention was drawn to the need for adaptation following heavy rains and flooding last year. While there can be many different reasons why cities decide to implement climate change adaptation measures, including reactions to hazards and disasters, recreational or aesthetic improvements or for city planning logistics, Peter Massini (City of London) reminded his colleagues from around Europe that these moments are crucial opportunities for practitioners with more knowledge and awareness of the co-benefits of adaptation. Once funding and permission for an adaptation measure has been approved through political commitment, policy officers in municipalities and city councils are the ones who can capitalise on the many co-benefits: from health, biodiversity, flood risk management, air quality and reducing the urban heat island effect to areas as diverse as social cohesion and economic advantages.

Cities have common climate challenges

“Solutions should add social value to the city for cities and also raise awareness about risks," said Anne Petersen (City of Vejle) and suggested that other cities make note of measures like the nature-based flood management solutions in Vejle that also provide recreational water areas. Vejle has been working as part of the Smart Mature Resilience project and its involvement in the 100 Resilient Cities network to help citizens understand the concepts of climate change adaptation and resilience, as this word does not exist in Danish. Communication on climate is a challenge common to European cities. In London’s case, Peter Massini addressed the difficulty of motivating citizens to engage with climate issues, which they can find abstract or irrelevant. For example, in London, it is easy to communicate air quality issues, but flooding London has been transforming: it has a climate adaptation strategy and is now developing a London environment strategy.

Making progress on climate action

“Cities have been doing adaptation without calling it so,” as Sandro Nieto Silleras (European Commission DG Clima) noted before inviting cities to communicate their local energy and climate action needs to the European Commission’s DG Clima and the Global Covenant of Mayors via a survey. He commended cities for their progress on climate change adaptation and encouraged cities to communicate their stories and to help their peers replicate their successful measures.

Guimarães has been able to save money and work towards the Sustainable Development Goals by working with local researchers. A flood management project in the historical city centre helped the city eliminate floods in the area and by extension, all flood-related losses in the area, since the measures were implemented in 2015. The city of Bilbao, a partner of the RAMSES project and RESIN project, which were supporters and co-organisers of the event respectively, showed how the city has made great leaps recently in its work on climate change by including a chapter on climate change in its master plan and elaborating a sustainable urban mobility plan.

Insider tips: how cities can finance adaptation

One question on many cities’ lips and a barrier brought up on every edition on Open European Day is how to access financing to fund climate adaptation projects. Stefanie Lindenberg (European Investment Bank) gave specific advice for cities on how to write successful applications to the EIB’s Natural Capital Financing Facility, which provides loans and investments between €1m-€50m to cities for climate change adaptation projects. How can cities have their applications approved? Favourable factors are: well-defined projects, well-defined stakeholders and realistic capacity expectations, and the presence of a city adaptation strategy. Innovation as it relates to nature-based solutions can be useful, but innovation is not necessarily the most important criteria overall.

The event also hosted a successful ‘OED Marketplace’ including stands by ICLEI, the EEA, RESIN, RAMSES, PLACARD, the EIB, DG CLIMA and DG RESEARCH. The day concluded with the ‘Sound of Adaptation’: a collaborative improvisation by all of the conference participants and facilitated by Clara Grimes (ICLEI Europe). Four cycles of climate change challenges: storms, rain, flooding and heatwaves were created with acoustic sounds, and live recordings of the sounds created rhythmic electronic loops, creating an immersive experience where the players became increasingly aware of their part in the climate system. The effect became increasingly clamorous, as the mixture of recorded loops and acoustic sounds reached a crescendo, when the groups synced in with one another, calming down the electronic noise and leaving natural swoops and falls of a healthy and adapted climate system.

Photos are available of the conference on Flickr. Video interviews of the event with Nuno Lopes, City of Almada and Lykke Leonardsen, City of Copenhagen are available on ICLEI Europe’s YouTube channel. A full report on the conference will be made available in early autumn 2017.

17 May 2017

Cities and scientists co-create interactive simulation game on first day of SMR Glasgow workshop

Glasgow City Council welcomed project partners, project cities and local stakeholders to the Lighthouse, Glasgow this morning for the first day of the Smart Mature Resilience project’s review workshop. During the morning session, the partners built on progress made at the project’s recent workshop, where European cities and a group of projects focusing on related topics met to compare tool development and discuss the optimal conditions for developing possible standards for resilience management in cities.

The SMR project is developing a Resilience Management Guideline supported by five tools, which provides a pathway to lead cities towards a more resilient future. Each tool serves a complementary purpose. The Resilience Maturity Model helps cities to identify their level of resilience maturity and helps them to identify policies that would be helpful measures towards resilience-building. The Risk Systemicity Questionnaire can bring together diverse stakeholders in a city to better understand their awareness of risk and the interrelatedness of risk. The Resilience Information Portal can provide useful software to cities, which they can use to make their communication system more resilient.

During the workshop in Glasgow, cities and scientific partners worked closely together to continue co-development of the System Dynamics Model, which is a game-like online learning tool to help strategic managers and other stakeholders involved in budgeting and strategic planning for resilience in cities identify and decide the most efficient and most strategically accurate policies to implement, and the order in which to do this.

The tool functions with an interactive interface, where users input a symbolic budget for resilience development and adjust the proportional investment in different areas regarding resilience for their city. The user can then run simulations of the effects of prioritizing investment in different areas in different order, using the tool as a kind of playground to trial methods of policy prioritization in a safe environment. Intensive collaborative sessions and exercises with TECNUN, University of Navarra and CIEM, University of Agder collected input from the SMR cities of Glasgow, Kristiansand, Donostia, Vejle, Rome, Riga and Bristol to validate the tool and ensure that it is an ideal format for immediate application and use by cities.

A further tool for Resilience Policies will then provide information, examples and case studies of the policies identified through the Resilience Maturity Model and the System Dynamics Model. The workshop will continue tomorrow with sessions hosted by the University of Strathclyde to work with cities on co-developing this tool.

Impressions of the first day are available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/iclei_europe/sets/72157683833382116/with/34331508890/. You can find out more about Glasgow and SMR at http://smr-project.eu/glasgow/.

16 May 2017

Development of the RESIN e-Guide

The RESIN project is developing an e-Guide, which is an online platform designed to provide decision support for climate change adaptation planning by city administrators. It does this by:

• Providing a structured and comprehensive overview of the various steps and activities that an urban adaptation process consists of;

• Providing practical, user-oriented support to actually perform such an adaptation process;

• Providing a portal to the most relevant sources of information and supporting methods available on the web, including the provision of new tools and methods that are currently not available;

• Providing guidance (where attainable) for choosing the best approaches, methods, tools and information sources for particular situations and particular steps;

• Providing references to evidence based information;

The development of the e-Guide has just entered a new phase. The high-level design has been finished, and is recorded in an extensive document. It describes the functions of e-Guide, its intended use, its encompassing components and how they work together. It also gives the requirements for development and describes the development and test plan.

This means that the project will now focus on the development of the e-Guide, define how it will work, what it should look like and how it will interact with the user. This work is currently being undertaken in WP6. The first mock-up versions of the e-Guide have been shown to the consortium in the Manchester GA meeting of 9 May. A process to verify and enhance these designs with potential users is currently being undertaken.

10 May 2017

Cities send the message at Open European Day to “Go ahead and act!” on climate change adaptation

Deputy Mayor of Bonn Reinhard Limbach opened Open European Day 2017 on 3rd May 2017 in Bonn with the observation that “what used to happen once in 100 years now happens once a year". 104 representatives from cities in European and as far abroad as Buenos Aires attended Open European Day at Bonn Resilient Cities along with climate change adaptation and resilience experts from the academic community, the private sector, financiers and EU institutions to attend two panels and nine workshops focussing on the key themes of innovation, co-creation and transformation. Stephanie Lindenberg of the European Investment bank provided details of how cities can successfully apply for funding of between €1m-€50m for climate change adaptation projects through the Natural Capital Financing Facility.

Lykke Leonardsen explained that the city of Copenhagen joined the 4th Open European Day “to share the knowledge that we have in Copenhagen with other cities, but also to learn from other cities, because a lot of European cities are facing the same challenges... And because the same cities participate, you can actually get to follow the development they are going through.” Bilbao, a partner city of the event’s co-organiser, the RESIN project, showed how Bilbao included a chapter on climate change in its Master Plan and started work on its SUMP. Sirpa Hertell, Committee of the Regions spoke from her experience as Espoo city councillor to stress that cities and regions need the support of researchers and universities to assess their climate risks and vulnerability.

New ICLEI member Guimarães shared their successful flood management project in a historical part of the city, which has helped to eliminate flooding in the area since 2015. Finally, Nuno Lopes, city of Almada reflected on the support that ICLEI gives to cities: “The importance of ICLEI with Almada has been huge... It has been a fantastic help for us to find out some climate regulation solutions that we might use in our city in the next years.” Open European Day was organised by ICLEI Europe and the European Environment Agency.

Watch the video interview with Nuno Lopes at Open European Day here.

Watch the video interview with Lykke Leonardsen at Open European Day here.

See the photos of the event here.

A follow-up reported will be circulated soon. To receive the report, please contact iclei-europe-adaptation@lists.iclei.org.

19 April 2017

European Investment Bank supports the Open European Day 2017

Open European Day at Bonn Resilient Cities will bring European cities together to discuss their common challenges and share their successful solutions in a uniquely interactive event that sees cities taking centre stage and sharing cases from their most recent experiences in a conversational format. Innovation, co-creation and transformation in cities are the event’s three main themes and will frame the opening plenary and the break-out sessions. During the plenary, organizers ICLEI Europe and the European Environment Agency will open the day with the European Commission’s DG Research and DG CLIMA, the European Investment Bank, the Committee of the Regions and with the participating cities.

The event will include the OED Marketplace, where participants can share, display and discuss their latest ideas and results. The Marketplace will feature a Road to Adaptation Wall, an Adaptation Poetry Slam, where participants can present their organization or project in super-fast elevator pitches, and the day will finish with a musical exploration of the Sound of Adaptation.

The Open European Day programme is made up of interactive workshops where cities present a real-life challenge and explore solutions to these challenges with participants. On the topic of innovation, EASME and the European Commission will hear examples from Berlin Moabit and Valladolid on using technology for innovating adaptation. Ingrid Coninx (Wageningen University) and the European Investment bank will frame a discussion between Raffaella Gueze, City of Bologna and José Ferreira, City of Lisbon about innovative financing for climate adaptation, and Guimarães (Portugal) will share its experiences with innovation in multi-purpose nature-based solutions.

On the topic of co-creation, Athens (Greece) and the European Environment Agency will contribute on citizens as drivers of change, Peter Massini (City of London) will talk about adaptation and social inclusion and a discussion on co-creation with research and business will bring together contributions by Alistair Ford (University of Newcastle), Marjorie Breyton (Life DERRIS Project) and examples by the city of Vagos (Portugal), Valka (Latvia) and Exeter (UK).

Bratislava (Slovakia) and next year’s European Green Capital of Nijmegen (Netherlands) will share their impressions of how transformation manifests in a physical sense in their cities, facilitated by Birgit Georgi (Physical City Adaptation). The PLACARD project, the Provence of Potenza and the City of Vejle will explore how adaptation relates to the other urban development agendas, and a final Covenant of Mayors session on city transformation through administration will include contributions by Bilbao (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark).

Attendance at the Open European Day is free of charge to cities and registration is open at https://fs8.formsite.com/iclei12/form92/index.html. A draft programme is now available on the Bonn Resilient Cities website at http://resilientcities2017.iclei.org/open-european-day/.

19 April 2017

Greater Manchester continues to engage with partners on climate resilience and the RESIN project

In December 2016, a refreshed Climate Change and Low Emissions Implementation plan was launched. This plan is owned by the Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub, a board of public, private, voluntary, university and government representatives.

The RESIN project was very pleased to be invited, along with Greater Manchester’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative, to present jointly on these two closely aligned projects and on progress and next steps around a range of climate resilience issues and actions.

Very positively, there was a real recognition of both the importance of critical infrastructure resilience and the urban systems approach of RESIN. There was also a clear desire to see genuine action on the issue of climate and wider resilience issues. But whilst the efforts of both these projects were making at tackling these were welcomed, a clear frustration was communicated around the complexity of the issues and the other barriers which slow or even stop practical action occurring.

But the strong support and recognition of the issues from around the room, particularly from water and energy utility representatives, will positively help the GM RESIN team continue to progress its work over the summer. This includes following up on the 2 Impact Chains now produced (one for pluvial flooding to road transport infrastructure and the other on the impact of extreme heat/drought on the functionality of GM’s green infrastructure. Similarly, the wider GM Critical Infrastructure Risk assessment planned for the next 6 months will have senior and cross sector support from the board members and their organisations which will help secure data and technical input into the co-creation process.

13 April 2017

Bratislava impact chain workshop

On April 4, 2017 RESIN project partners Bratislava City and Comenius University (UNIBA) hosted a workshop aimed at drafting initial impact chains in order to start the assessment of vulnerability of the city and its infrastructures to the impacts of climate change. Throughout the preparation of the meeting, RESIN Partner and leader of WP2, Fraunhofer, helped and guided the City partners in order to harmonise the workshop with past workshops, which have already taken place in Bilbao or Manchester.

The meeting was thematically broken down into two sessions. The morning session focused more on urban population and the impacts of climate change on health and quality of life. The second (afternoon) session focused on green infrastructure: as a critical infrastructure, sensitive to climate change on hand a being a an important factor in adaptation and mitigation on the other. The associated climate change risks were pluvial flooding and heatwaves for the urban population and droughts in relation to green infrastructure. Altogether, 16 stakeholders joined the meeting; spatial planners and environmental managers as well as external stakeholders; representing social care and care for elderly and the Slovak hydrometeorological institute.

As part of the discussion, the point was raised of out how the results of vulnerability assessments can be utilised in terms of urban planning and prevention risk resulting from climate change risks. The outcomes of the meeting are currently being analysed, and further meetings are planned to engage further city stakeholders.

12 April 2017

European cities and researchers discuss resilience and standardisation at SMR workshop

Representatives of eleven European cities and communities as well as scientific experts in the field of resilience as well as the standardisation committees ‘Security and Resilience’ and ‘Sustainable cities and communities’ met in Berlin on 4th April 2017 to discuss resilience in cities and communities with a particular focus on the potential of standardisation to support high-quality management and decision-making at city level as a key element in fostering effective resilience development in cities.

European resilience projects SMR, DARWIN, IMPROVER, RESILIENS, RESOLUTE, Resccue and RESIN convened at this event, as they are working towards similar goals, and could see the benefit in an open discussion of their current state of progess. The day opened with a summary of the current status and progress made so far by each project, keeping in mind potential for collaboration and sharing of results. The presentations showed that the different projects have a variety of focus areas, priorities and methods, while all working towards mutually complementary goals. Smart Mature Resilience and RESIN bring together cities and researchers to investigate and build urban resilience in European cities. While both projects take cities as their particular areas of interest, SMR encompasses the wider spectrum of resilience aspects including social dynamics, while RESIN pinpoints the relevance of climate change adaptation as part of resilience-building.

The RESILENS and IMPROVER projects take critical infrastructures as their main focus, and IMPROVER was of particular interest to the cities present due to the project's plans to develop a game-based training app. Like IMPROVER, RESOLUTE will develop a game-based mobile e-learning tool. Finally, the comprehensive RESCCUE project showed the comprehensive scope of the five-year project and its Hazar tool.

The cities then joined a city-specific workshop while the research projects compared the overlaps between their project outputs so far and the prospects for combining or contributing to one anothers' tools. In the city workshop, cities shared their resilience challenges and examples of good practice and contributed to how they might see standardization supporting their local resilience-building process.

30 March 2017

New tool 'Risk Systemicity Questionnaire' launched

SMR has completed and shared its latest tool, the Risk Systemicity Questionnaire (RSQ), which is now available to cities. The RSQ is an Excel based tool where users are asked to consider the relative likelihood of a broad range of risks in their cities. These risks are spread across 9 topics: health, climate change (air pollution), climate change (flooding), social inequalities, ageing (population), riots, immigration, social cohesion and social alienation and are considered as networks of interrelated risks. These networks of risks are presented as risk scenarios, some of which result in vicious cycles. Users progress through the tool by completing questions which ask them to consider whether defined risks scenarios are likely or not to occur in their cities.

Based on the responses to the questions contained in each of the topics of the RSQ, participants are provided with a relative risk score (an estimated risk level for the city) and an awareness score (the level of knowledge the city has about the possible risk scenarios). In addition to this, users can access policies recommendations that may be used to address those risk scenarios that are of most threat to the city.

Not only does completing the Risk Systemicity Questionnaire help cities to assess their exposure to risk, but it also indicates their level of awareness of risk and where cities should prioritise their efforts. The purpose of the questionnaire is for it to be used by groups of users with diverse areas of expertise so that it can prompt valuable discussions where different stakeholders’ experiences can be brought together to determine a city’s priorities to enable them to anticipate and appropriately respond to future challenges.

28 March 2017

Berlin workshop to empower cities to use standards in their resilience management

Standardisation is quickly becoming a key approach in resilience management and in climate change management for cities, but it is often not easy for cities to know where to start. The Smart Mature Resilience project will hold a workshop next week in Berlin to help to respond to cities’ queries and to empower them to take the next steps in using standards in their resilience management next week in DIN, Berlin, Germany. The workshop will include insights from the cutting-edge European projects working on the latest resilience and climate change adaptation science: SMR, DARWIN, IMPROVER, RESILIENS, RESO-LUTE, Resccue, RESIN, SmartResilience, as well as expert presentations from standardization committees ‘Security and Resilience’ and ‘Sustainable cities and communities’.

Following the presentations, the afternoon will focus on the cities themselves and their experience, discussing the challenges and needs of cities and communities for becoming more resilient and exploring possible solutions and good practices. Finally, a gap analysis will help to boost cities ambitious plans to make the most of existing standards to plan strategic resilience management that is coherent with their peer cities and will help to provide a robust foundation for their citizens.

Cities can still register for the workshop at http://smr-project.eu/news/events/berlin-workshop/.

27 March 2017

Open European Day to put cities centre-stage to work together on adaptation

As European citizens enjoy the first sunny days of spring, city planners and climate experts reflect on last winter’s flooding and storms and consider the heatwaves that are likely to hit European cities this summer. Open European Day at Bonn Resilient Cities will bring European cities together to discuss their common challenges and share their successful solutions in a uniquely interactive event that sees cities taking centre stage and sharing cases from their most recent experiences in a conversational format. Innovation, co-creation and transformation in cities are the events three main themes for the event and will frame the opening plenary, facilitated by organizers ICLEI Europe and the European Environment Agency, and with contributions by the Committee of the Regions, DG Clima, DG Research and the European Investment Bank.

The event will include interactive workshops where cities will present a real-life challenge and during the workshop, participants will explore solutions to these challenges. On the topic of innovation, participants will discuss examples from Bologna (Italy) and Lisbon (Portugal) of innovative financing for climate adaptation and Guimarães (Portugal) will share its experiences with innovation in multi-purpose nature-based solutions. On the topic of co-creation, Athens (Greece) will contribute on citizens as drivers of change, Greater London (UK) on adaptation and social inclusion and Vagos (Portugal), Valka (Latvia) and the Life DERRIS project will discuss co-creation with research and business.

Bratislava (Slovakia) and next year’s European Green Capital of Nijmegen (Netherlands) will share their impressions of how transformation manifests in a physical sense in their cities, and a final Covenant of Mayors session on city transformation through administration will include contributions by Bilbao (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark).

Attendance at the Open European Day is free of charge to cities and registration is now open. A draft programme is now available on the Bonn Resilient Cities website at http://resilientcities2017.iclei.org/open-european-day/.

16 March 2017

Coping with complexity, handling uncertainty

In their endeavours to increase the climate resilience of cities, urban administrators, planners and decision makers have to deal with considerable uncertainty and complexity. The effects of climate change in terms of the impact of extreme weather events and the frequencies and intensities with which they occur are uncertain. Consequences in terms of associated risks to cities, for their infrastructures and inhabitants, depend very much on preparations that cities have in place or are planning for, to cope with these phenomena. Moreover, uncertainties arise from cascading effect, due to (un)foreseen relations between different urban areas, stakeholders or adaptation measures.

Despite these considerable uncertainties, decision makers have to act. Although the terms uncertainty, risk management and complexity are widely used in the policy making domain, there is little appreciation for the fact that there are many different dimensions of uncertainty, and there is a lack of understanding about their different characteristics, relative magnitudes, and available means of dealing with them. This results in cities experiencing difficulties in how to deal with uncertainty and complexity, which nevertheless must be acknowledged and integrated into

policy making for the future.

RESIN has produced a document that aims to break down complexity and uncertainty into understandable definitions and aspects in the context of urban climate resilience. This improves the ability of linking methods and instruments to deal with complexity and uncertainty with the particular challenges that arise. Climate change policies in general are very reliant on uncertainty management. This means that the choice of

risk and uncertainty management strategy should be carefully weighed against the particular “uncertainty or complexity challenge” that is at stake. This effort should be seen as the starting point of addressing the issues of uncertainty and complexity in the RESIN project. It provides city planners in general with an overview of methods and tools they can use to handle complexity and uncertainty. The methods and instruments presented in this report will be selectively discussed and applied within the RESIN cities.

13 March 2017

European cities and communities need resilience

Cities in Europe are facing increasing challenges and threats to citizens' safety and stability. Climate change is flooding homes and causing unprecedented storms, and cities are struggling to provide accommodation and support to their elderly and refugees fleeing war. Scientists and cities have been working intensively across Europe to investigate how to best provide cities with the support they need to enhance their cities and communities to be sustainable, resilient and prepared to handle the hazards ahead. European research projects working on the topic of resilience will come together at a unique workshop in Berlin to present their progress and discuss with cities their challenges and needs for becoming more resilient as well as sharing effective solutions and best practices.

The workshop is organised by DIN and will be held in the DIN premises in Berlin. In the final session of the workshop, standardisation will be discussed, and the way in which the development of standards can potentially support the resilience-building process in cities.

Limited travel support is available to city representatives for attending the workshop. For more information, please see the SMR website.

6 March 2017

San Sebastian Mayor hails cities as the ideal scale for developing resilience

Eneko Goia, Mayor of San Sebastian, welcomed the Smart Mature Resilience project to San Sebastian City Hall on 6th March 2017, emphasizing that “cities are the ideal scale for working on resilience”. Resilience-building is crucial to for San Sebastian, as the coastal city is already experiencing the consequences of climate change, particularly flooding. As the mayor joked, “The sea wants to recover all of those places we took in the past!” The project is developing a new Resilience Management Guideline, which helps cities to make the right decisions and policies to build resilience. This guideline is designed to be useable not only by the project cities, but by all European and global cities. Resilient cities support one another and bolster each other’s ability to recover from shocks and stresses.

“We are building the boat and sailing,” in the words of project coordinator Jose Mari Sarriegi, Tecnun, University of Navarra: the project partners, scientists and cities of San Sebastian, Glasgow, Kristiansand, Bristol, Vejle, Rome and Riga collaborate closely on developing the tools. Two of the tools are complete and are now available for use by cities: the Resilience Maturity Model and the Resilience Information Portal . A Risk Systemicity Questionnaire has been developed and tested in cooperation with the project cities, and this will be launched in the coming months.

The final two tools, the Resilience Policies Portfolio and the System Dynamics Model, are currently being developed. The System Dynamics Model is a game-style simulation programme that allows users to explore the effectiveness of implementing different resilience policies, helping to show which kinds of policies should be implemented in which order as the ideal trajectory towards a resilient city. The project partners and stakeholders are working on testing the model during the San Sebastian meeting, following which the tool developers will integrate the feedback gathered into the final, public version of the tool.

For information in Spanish, please see here.

For more information, please see www.smr-project.eu.

2 February 2017

Cities receive specialist training in the SMR tools

Smart Mature Resilience is undergoing an intensive period of local training, where local stakeholders in the core cities of Donostia, Glasgow and Kristiansand are receiving in-depth training on the use of the SMR tools that have been developed so far.

Training visits began in January 2017 in Donostia, where local stakeholders received training on the use of the Risk Systemicity Questionnaire and the Resilience Information and Communication Portal. Following the training, a 2-tier webinar was held, where Tier 2 city of Bristol heard from the city of Donostia, the Risk Systemicity Questionnaire tool developers at Strathclyde and co-creation partner ICLEI a summary of the results of the training, asked questions and provided feedback on the results.

The process continued this week in Kristiansand, where stakeholders received training on the Resilience Information and Communication Portal and provided input for a webpage on Kristiansand via the tool. Training is currently continuing in Kristiansand on the Resilience Maturity Model. Following training in Kristiansand, Tier 2 partner Vejle will attend a webinar to receive a summary of the results, provide feedback and gain an insight into the outcomes of the training.

Training will continue next week in Donostia on the Resilience Maturity Model, followed by Risk Systemicity Questionnaire training in Kristiansand and accompanying webinars, before Glasgow completes the last phase of the training on all three tools.

1 February 2017

Vulnerability assessment tool piloted in RESIN cities

RESIN’s new risk-based vulnerability assessment tool named ‘IVAVIA’ has been tested in Bilbao and Greater Manchester

The overall aim of a risk-based vulnerability assessment using IVAVIA is to facilitate the understanding of cause-effect relationships of climate change and to assess what impact on people, economy and built-up area under study can be expected now and for the future due to the changing climate. It enables the identification of geographical vulnerability hotspots, which can be used as an entry-point for adaptation measures. The identification of these hotspots will enable prioritizing the areas where actions are needed first.

IVAVIA is a procedure with 9 modules based on the 8 modules of the GIZ Vulnerability Sourcebook.

The application of IVAVIA is embedded in a larger cycle of repeated risk-based vulnerability assessment (IVAVIA), identification of adaptation options, adaptation planning, and implementation (RESIN conceptual framework). IVAVIA starts with preparatory work in module 0. The modules 0-2 have been applied to Bilbao and Greater Manchester so far. Other RESIN cities such as Bratislava will follow in early 2017.

Intermediate results of this activity are a set of impact chains. Modules 3–7 are currently under development, with a focus on estimating risk. After the application of module 8, participating cities may end up with an interactive map about their respective city exposed to a hazard of their choice.

Read more at http://www.resin-cities.eu/resources/tools/ivavia/.

Cities are invited and encouraged to provide their feedback on the tool via the RESIN LinkedIn group.

24 January 2017

Paris case study: Bercy-Charenton urban project

The Bercy-Charenton urban project has been chosen to co-create and test the Adaptation Option Library developed by TECNALIA in the WP3 of RESIN. Located in the south-east of inner Paris, the Bercy-Charenton area covers around 70 hectares south of the 12th district. Surrounded by the Seine and heavy infrastructure (railways, ring road, and interchange of the A4), the area is facing many challenges such as reducing air and noise pollution issues and creating linkage between isolated areas. Through this urban project, the City of Paris aims to turn the site “from an industrial landscape into a new and integrated piece of city fabric”.

The RESIN project aims to help the City of Paris to find the best adaptation options regarding fluvial and pluvial flood risk, heat waves and drought on this site, where development work of public spaces and housing construction should take place from 2018 to 2030.

The first round of meetings for this case study will start in March 2017, and will involve RESIN partners (EIVP, TECNALIA, ICLEI), the urban project manager, the manager of the adaptation strategy of the City of Paris and the Chief Resilience Officer and its team. One of the objectives of the case study is benchmark different alternative designs. The meeting will serve to define together the criteria to be considered for the selection of the adaptation options and discuss the resulting list of adaptation options and the extracted information.

12 January 2017

Bratislava teams up with European cities to adapt to climate change

Bratislava is set to host experts from the Bremen (Germany) and Arnhem (Netherlands) next week to exchange experience on climate change adaptation as part of the Mayors Adapt City Twinning Programme, for which a total of ten European cities have been selected. The meeting will take place from January 16 to 17, 2017.

Although located in different parts of Europe, all the three cities; Bratislava, Bremen and Arnhem; face summer heatwaves, periods of drought, floods and extreme weather events.

As Ingrid Konrad, Chief Architect of the City of Bratislava explains, “Bratislava is making itself internationally visible by its activities in climate change adaptation. As one of the first cities in former Eastern Europe we have elaborated and adopted a strategy for adaptation to climate change and started implementing concrete pilot projects. This is one of the reasons why we have been addressed by the coordinators of Mayors Adapt to take part in the exchange of experience”.

Bratislava, as a core city of the RESIN project, is also working with a group of ‘Tier 2’ cities; Burgas (Bulgaria), Vilnius (Lithuania), Radom (Poland) and Sfântu Gheorghe (Romania), which are observing and providing feedback as Bratislava tests newly-developed tools. RESIN investigates climate change adaptation and resilience in European cities, and as part of the project, the city is working with researchers to co-create practical and applicable tools to support cities in designing and implementing climate adaptation strategies for their local contexts. This co-creation process will also be addressed and shared as part of the upcoming meeting.

The meeting will create a space for the discussion of topics such as creating a suitable city microclimate in summer and winter months, the significance of permeable surfaces, urban greenery and the natural environment, as well as sustainable management of rainwater. The discussion shall also focus on correctly selecting adaptation measures, which have a positive impact not only on the environment but also on the economy. With special regard to economic benefits of adaptation measures, experienced experts from the Institute of Economic and Environmental Policy, University of J. E. Purkyně in Ústí nad Labem, the Czech Republic, have been invited by Mrs. Ingrid Konrad, Chief Architect of the City of Bratislava, to give a lecture on this topic. Applying suitable adaptation measures not only increases citizens’ quality of life, but it also significantly reduces the costs of heating and cooling buildings and the maintenance of green areas, as well as preventing property damage.

The City Twinning Programme enables the cities which have shown interest in this kind of cooperation to delegate their representatives – experts in climate change adaptation to a 2-day visit to another partner city. The City Twinning also enables a visit to other cities, which facilitates building partnerships between European cities and thus possibly starting future cooperation in adaptation to climate change.

Mayors Adapt is an initiative of the European Commission, which obliges the signatories to adopt concrete steps for adapting to negative effects of climate change in their territories. Currently, Mayors Adapt has a successor initiative – the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, which reflects the EU 2030 goals for adaptation to climate change and energy as well as an integrated approach in addressing adaptation to climate change and mitigating its negative impacts. Bratislava joined Mayors Adapt in 2014.

1 December 2016

Understanding the impact of flooding on road infrastructure in Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester (GM) and The University of Manchester have been working apace on the GM RESIN case study. Our aim is to support the development and implementation of climate change adaptation strategies and actions in order to further the goal of building the climate resilience of GM’s urban system.

Ultimately, the GM RESIN case study will result in a climate change risk assessment of GM’s urban critical infrastructure and the identification and prioritisation of adaptation options to prominent climate risks to GM’s urban critical infrastructure.

Key to understanding the climate change risk to GM’s critical infrastructure is through the preparation of impact chains to improve the understanding and assessment of, and response to, extreme weather and climate risks. Impact chains identify cause-effect relationships between the elements that determine risk from extreme weather and climate change. This work – led by Fraunhofer IAIS in Work Package 2 – is new territory for those of us working on climate change adaptation and resilience in GM.

On November 17th, we were delighted to welcome Fraunhofer IAIS, a leading scientific institute specializing in applied research into intelligent data and knowledge analysis, to the city of Manchester to work with our stakeholders to produce an impact chain through an interactive workshop. As the project initially selected two impact chains to work on where are pluvial flooding and road infrastructure; and heatwaves and water scarcity with green infrastructure, the workshop focussed on the impacts of pluvial flooding to a major arterial road. It was a great benefit that our invited stakeholders work on diverse areas including transport, urban resilience, flood risk management and the natural environment and were able to share their knowledge and experience.

We viewed this as an experimental workshop to shape an inclusive process towards the development of impact chains. Armed with paper and post-it notes, participants were provided with a potential pluvial flood scenario that was loosely based on recent events that have been experienced in GM. The learning from the day will be taken through when developing our second impact chain workshop which will assess the impacts of heatwaves and water scarcity on green infrastructure.

30 November 2016

RESIN partners meet to share project tools

All 17 RESIN partners and two advisory board members met in Utrecht, Netherlands from 8th-9th November for RESIN’s fourth General Assembly meeting. The Coordinator opened the meeting and the RESIN team was welcomed by Ronald Albers, head of the Department of Climate Air and Sustainability at TNO. The consortium used the meeting to work intensively on the project tools, which are currently under development, and to share their progress in each topical area.

The project’s coordinating partner TNO led workshops on the project’s key output, the RESIN e-Guide. The e-Guide will combine the project’s tools and will serve as an online tool to support cities in their adaptation decision-making. Development is currently on schedule: an intermediate version is operational and is undergoing constant revision.

Tecnalia shared their experience with developing the library of adaptation options. Developing universal processes and metrics for climate change adaptation, as is found in mitigation, is a particular challenge. Tecnalia is progressing with the harmonization of adaptation options and a well-structured methodology has been defined to harmonize the evaluated performance of adaptation options. A large body of performance data has been collected into a database and the RESIN scientists at Tecnalia are now working on applying the harmonization method.

26 October 2016

Donostia continues to strengthen its resilience with the Smart Mature Resilience project

A few days ago, one of the most significant known cyber-terrorist attacks to date hit some of the world's major technological and media groups. The fall-out saw citizens unable to access their online services and raised alarm as to whether user data could have landed in the hands of cybercriminals.

A team of researchers at Tecnun, University of Navarra, has been working for on the Smart Mature Resilience project for the last, as the coordinator of a consortium of 13 institutions, universities and experts in resilience.

The objective of this project is to deal with potential crises resulting from climate change, social dynamics, and possible failures or emergencies in critical infrastructure, creating guides European resilience to prevent and deal with the potential consequences of these phenomena.

7 October 2016

Over 100 short video interviews on urban resilience published

A resilient city is not only made up of bricks and mortar, but of flexible systems of elements working together. This complexity has been creatively visualised online in an interactive map of short video clips. As part of RAMSES, a European-funded research project on climate impacts and adaptation strategies for cities, Climate Media Factory has condensed scientific research into a compilation of over 100 short interview sequences from 33 climate change adaptation and resilience experts.

Users can define their own way of navigating the “On Urban Resilience” platform by auto-playing videos, searching by keyword or branching off into a topic-specific strand of clips to learn more in greater detail. “On Urban Resilience” is designed to help cities to find information on climate change impacts and to explore their options for adapting to climate change and for building city resilience. Contributions by experts on adaptation and resilience from across Europe cover topics such as social adaptation, local climate change models, political commitments and how to start an adaptation strategy in cities.

Frans Berkhout of King’s College London, said: “Cities are competing more and more in terms of their climate resilience. These are risks that are real, they’re tangible, investors know about them, they care about them, and therefore cities need to wake up and start to transform their infrastructures in a climate resilient way.” “On Urban Resilience” is available online for free at http://on-urban-resilience.eu/.

For more information, visit the RAMSES website.

14 September 2016

Tier 2 cities join RESIN project's Circle of Sharing and Learning

17 cities have joined the RESIN project to exchange and collaborate with project core cities as well as ICLEI and the project's research and standardisation partners and to benefit from the project's products and tools. These cities will partner up with the core 'Tier 1 cities' according to common characteristics and challenges to work together towards climate change adaptation.

The project's core cities of Bratislava, Bilbao, Greater Manchester and Paris have been working with their RESIN partners since May 2015 on assessing their climate change adaptation needs to deal with climate-related challenges and risks. These cities work closely with their local research partners in a process of co-creation, where they collaborate on developing and piloting the project's products and tools. The Tier 2 cities will benefit from these core cities' sharing their experience of co-creating and testing the tools, and will also participate in targeted workshops and informative webinars.

The Tier 2 cities are:

Alba (Italy)

Almada (Portugal)

Athens (Greece)

Burgas (Bulgaria)

Ghent (Belgium)

Lahti (Finland)

London (UK)

Newcastle (UK)

Nijmegen (Netherlands)

Padova (Italy)

Radom (Poland)

Reykjavik (Iceland)

Sfântu Gheorghe (Romania)

Strasbourg (France)

Vilnius (Lithuania)

Warsaw (Poland)

Zadar (Croatia)

25 August 2016

Meeting report now available for 4th International Climate Change Adaptation Conference

The overall meeting report of the international conference Adaptation Futures 2016, practices and solutions has just been published and is available online. It contains short reports of all sessions, many pictures and key messages and impressions from the Scientific and the Practice Advisory Committees.

ICLEI Europe co-organised the high-level round table session on "Nature-based solutions" and contributed a presentation on "Co-creating climate change adaptation and resilience decision-making support tools with cities" as part of the session on "Decision Support".

TNO also presented the RESIN project was also discussed as part of science practice session "Resilient risk management strategies for critical infrastructure within cities". 

24 August 2016

New edition of the Klimalotse “Climate Navigator” for municipalities

The “Climate Navigator” is meant to support decision-makers in cities and local authorities in circumnavigating climate risks. The revised version is now even more attuned to municipalities’ needs, making the online guide the most up-to-date tool for climate change adaptation available in Germany.

Floods, heat waves, protection from heavy rains and storms – municipalities are on the front lines of adapting to the impacts of climate change. However, the climate adaptation challenges facing municipalities are as varied as the municipalities themselves. Decision-makers from cities and local authorities must therefore come to terms with the topic of climate adaptation early on: well-planned adaptation measures don’t just prevent risks, they also save municipalities high costs and can preserve and even increase a city’s quality of life.

In the last few months, the “Climate Navigator” provided by the German Environment Agency (UBA) has undergone a comprehensive revision and been brought up to date. In early May the new version of this tool was finally introduced. The online guide is meant to support decision-makers in cities and local authorities in circumnavigating climate risks and pursuing opportunities. The revised version of the Climate Navigator is even more attuned to municipalities’ needs. Specialised prior knowledge of the effects of climate change is thus unnecessary to use the revised edition. It is immediately available in German for free download at http://www.uba.de/klimalotse.

adelphi optimised the Climate Navigator under commission of the UBA and in close cooperation with its partners Prognos and ICLEI Europe. “The Climate Navigator allows cities and local authorities to adapt to the impacts of climate change independently and according to their needs. As a result of our comprehensive revisions, the Climate Navigator is the most up-to-date instrument for small and medium-sized municipalities now available in Germany”, said Christian Kind, Senior Project Manager at adelphi and expert on climate change adaptation.

Climate Navigator leads users to a fitting strategy in five steps

The new version of the climate navigator is more flexible and takes into account many aspects of climate adaptation more deeply than before: The focus is no longer solely on creating an adaptation strategy; users are now supported much more in developing integrated climate protection and adaptation strategies. The instrument supports cities and local authorities through five modules to reach three different goals: as needed, they can (1) develop a simple adaptation strategy, (2) create an integrated climate protection and adaptation strategy, or (3) plan and implement measures for adapting to the impacts of climate change.

Alongside the comprehensive update of the guide, the topics “Financing Adaptation Measures” and “Strategy Creation and Integration” have been particularly expanded and attuned to practices in the municipalities. Legal developments have been added, and a multitude of tips and suggestions from Climate Navigator users have been taken up. To help users more quickly orientate themselves, picture galleries illustrate the technical information with the help of examples and documents from individual municipalities. This allows users to find a range of council decisions on the implementation of adaptation processes, maps on city climates, approaches for inter-municipal cooperation, and successfully implemented strategies.

Municipal decision-makers can find and download tested templates on the website of the German Environment Agency; for example, for documenting past extreme events, or a blueprint for generating a strategy. The Climate Navigator provides assistance for working on especially challenging tasks, for example with tips given by actors from the field, or in the form of links to other instruments.

You can find the updated Climate Navigator, further materials, and the associated newsletter at www.uba.de/klimalotse.

22 August 2016

Bilbao to reduce flood risk by opening Deusto canal

Bilbao, one of the largest cities in the Basque Country, has seen heavier rainfall, warmer winters and a heightened flood risk as a result of climate change. Bilbao is addressing these risks through participation in the international research project, ‘RESIN – Climate Resilience Cities and Infrastructures’, in which the city works with researchers to find ways to adapt to climate-related challenges.

Since the 1970s, Zorrotzaurre to the north of Bilbao had been on a continuous social and industrial decline, with only 500 people living on the peninsula at its lowest point. Today, it is the city’s biggest regeneration project. This started with the re-designation of land use in the area from ‘industrial’ to ‘residential’ in 1995. The Zorrotzaurre Master Plan was then drawn up to open the Deusto Canal, making the Zorrotzaurre peninsula into an island. The open canal and green banks will let river water flow through, reducing the water level by one metre and significantly reducing the risk of flooding. Three storm water tanks and a new flood protection wall along both riverbanks are also planned, which will help protect riverside housing.

A study conducted by the RESIN partners from the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) found that as a result of the new waterway the 10-year return period for expected flood events will no longer apply, resulting in a 100 percent reduction in expected costs. For the 100-year return period, the estimated damages will be reduced by €162.72 million. Excavation works are already underway and expected to be completed by spring 2017.

For more information, visit resin-cities.eu. [This article is also available in Spanish.]

11 August 2016

Glasgow invests in development of new urban Nature Park

ICLEI Member City Glasgow (UK) is set to create Scotland’s largest urban heritage and Nature Park, investing £6.8 million to create a green area that will encompass 16km² of lochs (lakes), parks, nature reserves and woodlands. The project will also see the development of walking and cycling routes and improvements to paths and signage within the park, allowing people to better experience the natural and cultural heritage of the area.

"The Seven Lochs Wetland Park is an exemplar of Green Network planning and delivery. It is a place with an abundance of natural resources; important natural habitats, historic sites and established places for recreation. This major new urban wildlife park will be the jewel in the crown of the wider Green Network and bring a host of benefits for local people and visitors alike,” said Max Hislop, Programme Manager for the Glasgow & Clyde Valley Green Network Partnership.

Glasgow is a core city of Smart Mature Resilience, a multi-disciplinary research project working for more resilient cities in Europe. The city works closely together with scientists to develop Glasgow’s resilience against hazards and challenges brought on by climate change. Glasgow is particularly working on addressing flood risk management, water issues and drainage. Urban wildlife areas provide cities with a wide variety of environmental, social and economic benefits. Making the most of the park to meet, learn and exercise together will help to strengthen communities and improve Glaswegians’ health. The natural wetlands and open green spaces can also help to absorb excess water in the case of flooding, taking Glasgow a step further on its path towards resilience.

For more information, visit sevenlochs.org.

19 July 2016

EEA report highlights need for urban resilience to tackle climate change effects

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published a new report entitled ‘Urban adaptation to climate change in Europe 2016 – transforming cities in a changing climate’. The report provides an in-depth overview of the actions that urban planners and policymakers can take to reduce the impact of climate change, and stresses the benefits of investing in long-term preventive measures. ICLEI Europe is a co-author of the report and also supported the EEA in coordinating its production.

European cities are increasingly susceptible to the negative aspects of climate change, which are expected to increase in frequency and intensity with extreme events such as heatwaves, flooding, water scarcity and droughts. At the same time, social, economic and demographic changes can make cities more vulnerable. These can greatly impact a wide range of city functions, infrastructure and services such as energy, transport and water, and will affect urban quality of life.

The report recommends that to meet these challenges, cities must take a wider systemic approach that addresses the root causes of vulnerability to climate change. This includes better urban planning, with more green areas that can retain excess rainwater or cool dense city centres in hot weather, or by preventing the construction of houses in flood-prone areas. This approach can transform cities into much more attractive, climate-resilient and sustainable places to live and work.

For more information and to read the report, visit eea.europa.eu

12 July 2016

Over 120 participants attend 3rd Open European Day in Bonn

Representatives from European cities met in Bonn (Germany) on 5 July to discuss their experiences and successful strategies for adapting to climate change at the 3rd Open European Day at Bonn Resilient Cities. The event was attended by over 120 cities and climate change adaptation experts. As resilience development is not only a response to the challenges caused by climate change but also an opportunity to mitigate climate change and reduce risk, the importance of taking a holistic approach was a recurring theme. As noted by Jerry Velasquez of UNISDR, while cities are engines of growth, they are also driving increases in risk.

Amongst many first-hand contributions by cities, Marie Gantois shared Paris’ (France) successful experience with refurbishing and retrofitting buildings to save energy and improve thermal comfort. Jonathan Sadler demonstrated how green infrastructure has been the key to driving green growth in the City of Manchester (UK). Thessaloniki (Greece) gained the public’s support for resilience measures by communicating the relationship between resilience and the issues most affecting citizens: employment and the economy. Further examples of cities’ input are included in an animated video from the day. The event report will be published after the summer break.

The closing session of the event saw the launch of the European Environment Agency report Urban adaptation to climate change in Europe 2016. The 3rd Open European Day was organised by ICLEI and the European Environment Agency and co-organised by the Placard and RESIN projects, and supported by the European Commission - DG CLIMA and DG Research, and the European Investment Bank.

For more information, visit the Open European Day website.

31 May 2016

Programme for Open European Day at Bonn Resilient Cities now available

The new Open European Day (OED) programme has been released, providing details of how the event will facilitate discussion and exchange of experience on climate resilience between cities. Set to take place in Bonn (Germany) on 5 July, the event will precede the opening of the Resilient Cities conference. Cities contributing to the Open Day include London (United Kingdom), Paris (France), Madrid (Spain), Thessaloniki (Greece), Edinburgh and Newcastle upon Tyne (United Kingdom), Bologna (Italy) and many more.

The OED is supported by key EU projects on climate resilience such as RESIN and PLACARD and by European institutions including the European Investment Bank, DG CLIMA and DG Research. These institutions, together with other key adaptation players, will share information on climate support opportunities for cities and will be available for discussion during the Marketplace session.

Topics to be discussed during the event include climate services, nature-based solutions, mainstreaming adaptation and financing adaptation. The European Environment Agency Report "Urban adaptation to climate change in Europe 2016” will be launched at the evening reception. The event is free of charge and online registration is now available. Places are limited, so early registration is recommended

For more information and to register, click here.

13 May 2016

Presentations now available from RESIN at Adaptation Futures 2016

RESIN partners played a number of active roles this week in the 4th International Climate Change Adaptation Conference (Adaptation Futures) in Rotterdam. ICLEI co-organised the high-level round table session "Nature-based solutions in cities" on Tuesday 10 May 2016, focussing on the benefits motivating cities to promote and implement nature based solutions, concrete examples of how to quantify the costs and benefits of green solutions and infrastructure over standard solutions and how research and innovation can stimulate decision-making in cooperation with cities to foster transformation toward sustainability. The presentation is available now on the Adaptation Futures website.

TNO discussed the RESIN project as part of science practice session "Resilient risk management strategies for critical infrastructure within cities" on Wednesday 11 May 2016 in the context of experiences from the INTACT project (network interdependencies) and with reactions from the city of Rotterdam. The presentation is available on the Adaptation Futures website. Additionally, ICLEI introduced RESIN as part of a presentation during Adaptation Futures on "Co-creating climate change adaptation and resilience decision-making support tools with cities" as part of the session "Decision support" on Wednesday 11 May. The presentation is available here.

ICLEI also presented the RESIN project at the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns, held in the RESIN project city of Bilbao and also attended by RESIN partners from the City of Bilbao, project partners Tecnalia and the Basque Centre for Climate Change. The conference was attended by 880 representatives of local and regional governments, European and international institutions, multilateral organisations, members of the research community, business leaders, and civil society. The conference demonstrated the urgent need for actions by local governments in shaping Europe’s future.

19 April 2016

SMR project pilots new tools to enhance resilience to climate change

The Smart Mature Resilience (SMR) project launched the pilot implementation of its tools in partner city Donostia/San Sebastián, Basque Country (Spain) on 13 April 2016 at a kick-off workshop in the project host institution of Tecnun, University of Navarra. According to Diario de Noticias de Gipuzkoa, Mayor of San Sebastián Eneko Goia opened the meeting, noting that San Sebastián faces “two risks associated with the global phenomenon of climate change that test the resilience of the city itself: these are the sea and the river.”

He further noted the importance of the event in Tecnun, as it marks the launch of the testing phase of the SMR project's pilot tools, which aim to enhance cities’ capacity to resist, absorb and recover from the hazardous effects of climate change. SMR researchers work with the project partner cities of San Sebastián, Glasgow (UK) and Kristiansand (Norway) to develop tools to assess and develop cities’ resilience. Together, they develop and pilot tools in these three core cities. The tools are then reviewed and evaluated by researchers and by a group of four other partner cities. It is foreseen that they will be spread to cities in Europe and beyond.

The testing process was launched in February 2016 in Kristiansand with a workshop focusing on water, and continued in San Sebastián, where the main focus of the workshop was communication flows in the energy and telecommunication security sector, particularly in emergency situations. The next launch of tools testing will take place in Glasgow. The other four project cities – Bristol (UK), Vejle (Denmark), Rome (Italy) and Riga (Latvia) – will closely observe the testing process and learn alongside the pilot cities.

For more information, visit smr-project.eu.

18 April 2016

Rome releases preliminary resilience assessment

The City of Rome (Italy) has published its preliminary resilience evaluation, which takes stock of the Italian capital’s progress in ensuring resilience to climate change and looks at areas to focus on in the future. The report is based on the City Resilience Framework provided by 100 Resilient Cities. The preliminary evaluation has been carried out by the Resilience Work-Group of Rome, who solicited feedback from stakeholders and citizens through public events and questionnaires.

The report will feed into the development of the “Resilience Rome scenario”, the city’s official resilience strategy, which is due to be published in December 2016. The city has used the opportunity of the strategy redevelopment to promote a remapping of the city’s issues and policies towards resilience.

The document concludes with an outline of the city’s strengths and vulnerabilities. Based on the analysis of the results obtained during the evaluation process, five priority areas have been indentified – territory and connections; people and capacity; resources and human metabolism; systems, nets and heritage; and governance, participation and civic culture.

For more information, visit the project website [in Italian].

24 March 2016

RESIN cities talk progress and next steps at Second Process Management Workshop

Project research partners and city partners met in Freiburg in March 2016 for the second RESIN Process Management Workshop.

City progress

Representatives of the four core cities presented their recently-completed City Assessement Reports, providing a comprehensive assessment of each project city relevant to the city's adaptation strategy development. Each city then worked intensively with research partners to explore challenges, objectives and pathways towards the RESIN City Strategies.

Bilbao currently faces challenges related to land use, housing and mobility, and there is an urgent need for a common vision of the city with regards to adaptation and commitment to actions to address climate change and resilience building at the local and regional levels of governance. The valley city has undergone exceptionally rapid transformation in recent decades and is proud to offer its citizens a good quality of life, social cohesion, urban regeneration and an attractive and sustainable city. Bilbao has already progressed from an industry-based economy to a service economy, and is determined in its ambitions to take the next step to transition to a knowledge economy.

Greater Manchester has defined pluvia land fluvial flooding as a principal area of focus for potential improvement on the path to enhanced resilience. The city is working intensively on the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, which will work in tandem with the city’s future adaptation strategy. Manchester has already taken significant steps towards adapting to the recent increased rainfall, and the city and research partners are working closely together to make the most of existing strategies in place to complement and boost the steps GM has already taken to ensure a more sustainable and resilient home for its citizens.

The City of Bratislava is working closely with local research partner Comenius University of Bratislava to work towards their goal of providing an improved quality of life, a healthy natural environment, healthy citizens and estate protection for Bratislava in the long run. The city is currently finalising an “Action plan of adaptation on adverse effects of climate change on the area of the capital city of Slovak republic in years 2016-2020,” and plans to offer tailored capacity-building events for local actors involved in this process to ensure optimal cooperation among the city actors.

The City of Paris is working intensively on collecting the necessary data and bringing it together with administrative and policy developments necessary within city administration in order to move beyond their recently developed Adaptation Strategy documentation.

Research progress

The latest major result of intensive cooperation between partners was shared and discussed in the form of the RESIN Conceptual Framework. This framework distinguishes between the two interconnected, systems and their processes; the urban system and the adaptation planning system. Experience or awareness of climate risks initiates an adaptation planning process. This process may lead to the development of adaptation actions, and then these actions can be implemented within the urban system to build climate resilience. It is also recognised that, in order to be accepted by a broad range of stakeholder groups and effectively implemented within urban systems, adaptation actions must do more than just build climate resilience. Given the cross cutting nature of climate risks, adaptation actions should also acknowledge and respond to the challenges and potential opportunities faced by urban areas in the twenty-first century.

Research partners then shared the latest updates on the development of the RESIN tools, which will be assigned to each city for pilot testing, evaluation and feedback. A framework and timeline was agreed between cities and research partners as to the tools that will be introduced for pilot testing in each city. The RESIN partners returned to their respective cities filled with clarity and motivation of the tasks to come, and how the next phase will shed new light on climate change adaptation theory and will boost the core cities along their path to enhanced resilience.

16 March 2016

GREEN SURGE to hold forum on public-private partnerships for greener cities

Urban green infrastructure decision-makers, researchers and private sector stakeholders will come together in Bilbao (Spain) to explore local government strategies of partnering with private sector actors to lead urban development down a greener path.

This topic follows on from recent research conducted by the Green Surge project into successful ways of making public and private interests work together. Amongst others, ICLEI has invited the City of Aarhus (Denmark) and the Greater London Authority (UK) to showcase how they cooperate with private actors to green their cities. Aarhus partnered with private stakeholders, particularly farmers and gardeners, as part of their strategy to protect groundwater from pesticides. One of the measures taken was to afforest the area, establishing new outdoor recreational areas, protecting the natural environment and boosting biodiversity. The Greater London Authority has been partnering with businesses regularly and strategically (e.g. Wild West End) to achieve its vision of a National Park City and to address London’s environmental and societal challenges.

The Stakeholder Dialogue Forum will be held in Bizkaia Aretoa, Bilbao (Spain) from 14.00 to 18.00 on 26 April 2016 and is free of charge. The Forum is a pre-event to the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns for which Stakeholder Forum participants benefit from a reduced registration fee. Registration for the Stakeholder Dialogue Forum can be completed online.

For more information, click here or contact greensurge@iclei.org.

22 February 2016

European Open Day at Bonn Resilient Cities launched for 2016

The EEA and ICLEI have joined forces again this year to organise the 3rd Open European Day (OED), the one-day European-focused event for climate adaptation practitioners, taking place on the 5th July, back-to-back with Resilient Cities 2016 in Bonn (Germany). The Open European Day is supported by the RESIN and Placard projects.

The event will follow the successful format of previous editions, where climate adaptation practitioners representing cities from “beginner” to “trailblazer” and key adaptation players will exchange valuable experience in an open and interactive setting. Institutions supporting urban adaptation development and scientists in the field will also contribute to addressing key questions raised by city representatives.

The thematic focus of this year’s edition will include climate services, nature-based solutions and how to mainstream adaptation. Financing adaptation will also be a topic of recurring consideration throughout the event. Participation is free of charge.

For more information, visit the Open European Day webpage.

4 February 2016

RESIN focuses on adaptation as Greater Manchester experiences flood damage

UK and Irish cities experienced record levels of rainfall in December 2015, bringing the question of critical infrastructure protection and city resilience to the top of the agenda for local and national governments across the region. Around 16,000 properties were flooded in the UK in December while 20,000 properties were protected by flood defences. Greater Manchester was particularly affected by Storm Eva, with 68.2mm of rain falling between 25 and 27 December. Two footbridges were washed away, one carrying a low pressure gas main, which subsequently exploded, leaving a number of homes without gas. Damage to infrastructure is likely to be in excess of £10 million.

Greater Manchester, as part of its role in the RESIN project, is working with RESIN research partner the University of Manchester to carry out a comprehensive city assessment in terms of climate change adaptation and resilience. The RESIN partnership between cities and scientists is an ideal opportunity for effective research into threats to infrastructure and for producing practical solutions that cities themselves have helped to create.

In November 2015, the University of Manchester produced a RESIN analysis of the hazards facing European cities arising from climate change. Primary causes were identified as sea level rise, flooding, heat-waves and drought. The study looks at how an area’s socio-economic and infrastructural characteristics can turn a climate event into a climate hazard. Crucially, this sheds light on which elements of climate-change related hazards can be controllable, allowing cities to adapt to a changing climate.

For more information, click here.

18 January 2016

Subscriptions open for RESIN newsletter

The first edition of the quarterly RESIN newsletter is due soon.

Subscribe for quarterly updates on the latest climate change adaptation and resilience news.

Subscription to the RESIN newsletter is now available at http://www.resin-cities.eu/newsroom/newsletter/.

8 December 2015

RESIN cities map out their stakeholder environment in Bratislava

All 17 project partners and the RESIN advisory board met in Bratislava on 10-11 November for RESIN’s first Process Management Workshop and for partners to share each work package’s progress to date.

The workshop introduced the project’s four core cities (Bilbao, Bratislava, Manchester and Paris) to the overall structure and essential elements of an adaptation development process and began laying the foundation for involving stakeholders in the process the cities are now beginning to develop. Cities mapped out their local stakeholder landscape, reflecting on the institutions and systems most crucial to their adaptation development decisions.

Each of the four core cities has a unique stakeholder constellation, and it was found that regional and national institutions also play a part in these complex stakeholder networks. RESIN was able to support the city partners in identifying their key stakeholders and how they relate to one another through a collaborative exercise, as well as preparing them for the exercise with materials and a questionnaire before the meeting.

The meeting also served as a launch of the project’s first completed State of the Art reports which are available for download here.

Read more

9 November 2015

Resilient Cities 2016 - Call for Contributions open!

Submissions are now being accepted for the Resilient Cities 2016, the 7th Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation taking place in July 6-8, 2016. The call for contributions will remain open until January 8, 2016.

The themes for Resilient Cities 2016 will feature a new focus on urban resilience and informality (informal settlements and economy) and on tracking progress on the local implementation of global frameworks (i.e. Sendai Framework, SDGs, Paris Agreement, Habitat III).

It will also continue its strong focus on financing resilience and zoom in on risk transfer and climate insurance solutions. Resilient Cities 2016 calls for examples of integrated, holistic approaches to climate actions and looks into how cities measure and evaluate their resilience (implementation phase). Key developments and innovations in areas such as standardizing city data, disaster recovery and reconstruction, creating climate-resilient public health systems, and communicating resilience will be explored.

Proposals will be accepted for presentations, panels, workshops, posters, Reality Check Workshops, co-events, and alternative formats, including training, “talk shows” and “fishbowl” presentations.

Visit the call for contributions page on the new Resilient Cities 2016 website for more information on new themes, formats and to submit your contribution!

27 October 2015

Smart cities a hot topic at Berlin conference

How can we make the vision of a sustainable, adaptable and liveable city a reality? This is the key question to be answered at the Urban Futures Conference, which will be taking place in Berlin (Germany) from 24-26 November 2015. ‘Lighthouse’ and ‘Follower’ cities within the GrowSmarter project will share their experiences of implementing integrated smart solutions to tackle social and environmental challenges in a number of sessions over the three days.

Project coordinator Gustaf Landahl will be joined by colleagues from the other major European Smart City projects at a high-level session to discuss the smart city agenda. GrowSmarter ‘Lighthouse’ city Cologne (Germany) will present its experiences in planning for innovation, while the five ‘Follower’ cities will discuss, together with ICLEI Europe, roadmaps for replicating smart solutions. ICLEI Europe Deputy Regional Director Holger Robrecht will moderate a session exploring the potential tensions between urban life and innovation.

This conference is geared towards community representatives, municipal companies, solution and service providers, academics and political representatives alike, and will showcase overarching perspectives and approaches for the future development of the 21st-century city.

For more information, visit the Urban Futures website.

2 October 2015

Resilient Cities 2015 report now available

The report reflects the outcomes of the Resilient Cities 2015 congress and captures broader developments in the field or urban resilience and climate change adaptation. It is based on the expertise of international experts and practitioners who participated at the congress, June 8-10 in Bonn, Germany.

The report features case studies from around the world, highlights newly available tools and solutions, and provides an overview of the state of urban resilience globally by exploring new directions and innovations.

Download the report here.

30 September 2015

Agenda launch aims to make national-level research available across Europe

The Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) Urban Europe, a member state-led initiative that reviews national research programmes and finds avenues for cooperation with European ones, yesterday presented its Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA), which will help cities to tackle complex challenges and become more sustainable. The launch took place during the conference “Transition towards sustainable and liveable urban futures” in Brussels (Belgium), which runs from 29 - 30 September 2015. ICLEI Europe Regional Director Wolfgang Teubner will speak at the event.

Cities throughout Europe are increasing their efforts to become more sustainable by developing smart cities strategies, aimed at enhancing inclusiveness and building economic growth and resilience. However, there is no consistent model that helps to merge conflicting priorities and tackle unforeseen consequences. The SRIA aims to meet this need and is the result of a two year process involving research communities, funding agencies, the business sector, cities and city stakeholders throughout Europe.

Through the SRIA, more than 15 European countries are committing to align national research funding and investments in urban development to support European cities in their transition processes. “We have the ambition to realise a strong cooperation between researchers from different scientific disciplines and actors from different sectors and to develop new concepts, tools, technologies and methods for urban decision making and urban development”, says Inger Gustafsson, Vice-chair of the Urban Europe Governing board and Head of department at VINNOVA the Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems.

For more information, visit jpi-urbaneurope.eu.