Latest News

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.