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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Sfântu Gheorghe (Romania)
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".
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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].
Project research partners and city partners met in Freiburg in March 2016 for the second RESIN Process Management Workshop.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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/.