Collaboratively developing tools for climate change adaptation – Lessons for research and policy

The first RESIN policy brief, titled ‘Collaboratively developing tools for climate change adaptation – Lessons for research and policy’ is now available online! In it, you'll find recommendations for research teams and city level decision-makers corresponding to 1) the main obstacles to effective  climate change adaptation at city level encountered by cities in the RESIN consortium, and 2) the challenges of effective research-practice collaboration, with corresponding recommendations.

Access paper


Realisation & implementation IVAVIA

Realisation & implementation of method and tools for Impact and Vulnerability Analysis of Vital Infrastructures and built-up Areas



Erich Rome, Manfred Bogen, Rainer Worst, Daniel Lückerath, Betim Sojeva, Oliver Ullrich, Hans Voß, Norman Voß, Jingquan Xie (Fraunhofer);


Angela Connelly, Jeremy Carter, John Handley (UNIMAN);

Matt Ellis (Greater Manchester);

Margaux Dumonteil, Jean-Marie Cariolet (EIVP);

Eva Streberova (Bratislava),

Efren Feliu, Maddalen Mendizabal Zubeldia, Beñat Abajo (Tecnalia);


Read report


Addendum to 'Understanding risks in the light of uncertainty: low-probability, high-impact coastal events in cities'

Ibon Galarraga, Elisa Sainz de Murieta, Anil Markandya and Luis María Abadie

This addendum adds to the analysis presented in 'Understanding risks in the light of uncertainty: low-probability, high-impact coastal events in cities' Abadie et al (2017 Environ. Res. Lett. 12 014017). We propose to use the framework developed earlier to enhance communication and understanding of risks, with the aim of bridging the gap between highly technical risk management discussion to the public risk aversion debate. We also propose that the framework could be used for stress-testing resilience.

Access paper


Enhancing the Practical Utility of Risk Assessments in Climate Change Adaptation

Angela Connelly, Jeremy Carter, John Handley and Stephen Hincks

In 2012, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) moved from a vulnerability to a risk-based conception of climate change adaptation. However, there are few examples of work that translates this approach into climate change adaptation practice, in order to demonstrate the practical utility of following a risk-based approach to adapting to climate change. The paper explores critically the differing conceptions of vulnerability and risk across the literature relating to disaster risk management and climate change adaptation. The paper also examines a selection of spatially focused climate change vulnerability and risk assessment methodologies in this context. In doing so, we identify issues with the availability of spatial data to enable spatial risk-based climate change assessments. We argue that the concept of risk is potentially favorable in helping cities to understand the challenges posed by climate change, identify adaptation options, and build resilience to the changing climate. However, we suggest that change is needed in the way that practitioners and policymakers engage with risk-based concepts if they are to be embed into climate change adaptation activities.

Access paper


Towards successful adaptation: a checklist for the development of climate change adaptation plans

Marta Olazabal, Ibon Galarraga, James Ford, Alexandra Lesnikowski and Elisa Sainz de Murieta

The earliest climate change adaptation plans emerged about ten years ago and are an increasingly important component of the international policy agenda. Because these plans by nature involve long-term objectives, some of the main questions raised in current adaptation tracking research studies are whether and how they will be implemented and what is required for these plans to successfully achieve their objectives? There is no consensus on how to define “successful adaptation” and there are multiple, sometimes competing, interpretations of success. In this working paper, we define three areas where climate change adaptation plans should focus on to successfully achieve their goals: policy and economy, science and learning and legitimacy. We develop a checklist that identifies required aspects for successful adaptation and sustainability in the long-term based on these three areas and related indicators. We suggest that plans follow this checklist as a guideline for plan development and institutional capacity building in the long term. We eventually discuss the adequacy of these metrics for assessing the credibility of developed climate adaptation policies.

Access paper


The effect of flooding on mental health: Lessons learned for building resilience

Sebastien Foudi, Nuria Oses-Eraso, and Ibon Galarraga

Risk management and climate adaptation literature focuses mainly on reducing the impacts of, exposure to, and vulnerability to extreme events such as floods and droughts. Posttraumatic stress disorder is one of the most important impacts related to these events, but also a relatively under-researched topic outside original psychopathological contexts. We conduct a survey to investigate the mental stress caused by floods. We focus on hydrological, individual, and collective drivers of posttraumatic stress. We assess stress with flood-specific health scores and the GHQ-12 General Health Questionnaire. Our findings show that the combination of water depth and flood velocity measured via a Hazard Class Index is an important stressor; and that mental health resilience can be significantly improved by providing the population with adequate information. More specifically, the paper shows that psychological distress can be reduced by (i) coordinating awareness of flood risks and flood protection and prevention behavior; (ii) developing the ability to protect oneself from physical, material and intangible damage; (iii) designing simple insurance procedures and protocols for fast recovery; and (iv) learning from previous experiences.

Access paper


Assessment of Climate Change-Related Risks and Vulnerabilities in Cities and Urban Environments, Interoperability for Crisis Management

Jingquan Xie, Manfred Bogen, Daniel Lückerath, Erich Rome, Betim Sojeva, Oliver Ullrich, Rainer Worst

Increasing Resilience of Smart Cities (ICRIM 2018), co-located with 9th I-ESA 2018 Conference, Berlin, Germany, March 20–23, 2018.


Climate Risk Assessment under Uncertainty: An Application to Main European Coastal Cities

Luis M. Abadie, Elisa Sainz de Murieta* and Ibon Galarraga
Basque Centre for Climate Change, Leioa, Spain

This paper analyses the risk of extreme coastal events in major European coastal cities using a stochastic diffusion model that is calibrated with the worst case emission scenario from the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), i.e., the representative concentration pathway (RCP) 8.5. The model incorporates uncertainty in the sea-level rise (SLR) distribution. Expected mean annual losses are calculated for 19 European coastal cities, together with two risk measures: the Value at Risk (VaR) and the Expected Shortfall (ES). Both measures are well-known in financial economics and enable us to calculate the impact of the worst SLR paths under uncertainty. The results presented here can serve as valuable inputs for cities in deciding how much risk they are willing to accept, and consequently how much adaptation they need depending on the risk aversion of their decision-makers.

Access paper


Understanding risks in the light of uncertainty: low-probability, high-impact coastal events in cities

Luis Maria Abadie, Ibon Galarraga1 and Elisa Sainz de Murieta

Published 17 January 2017

© 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd

A quantification of present and future mean annual losses due to extreme coastal events can be crucial for adequate decision making on adaptation to climate change in coastal areas around the globe. However, this approach is limited when uncertainty needs to be accounted for. In this paper, we assess coastal flood risk from sea-level rise and extreme events in 120 major cities around the world using an alternative stochastic approach that accounts for uncertainty. Probability distributions of future relative (local) sea-level rise have been used for each city, under three IPPC emission scenarios, RCP 2.6, 4.5 and 8.5. The approach allows a continuous stochastic function to be built to assess yearly evolution of damages from 2030 to 2100. Additionally, we present two risk measures that put low-probability, high-damage events in the spotlight: the Value at Risk (VaR) and the Expected Shortfall (ES), which enable the damages to be estimated when a certain risk level is exceeded. This level of acceptable risk can be defined involving different stakeholders to guide progressive adaptation strategies. The method presented here is new in the field of economics of adaptation and offers a much broader picture of the challenges related to dealing with climate impacts. Furthermore, it can be applied to assess not only adaptation needs but also to put adaptation into a timeframe in each city.

Access paper


Options for certification

Certification is the independent quality assessment of a product, service or person. The resulting certificate demonstrates compliance with predefined standards. In addition to standardisation, certification is seen as a way to stimulate the uptake of technologies or practices that improve the climate resilience of European cities. In urban climate adaptation only few standards exist, and certification examples are thus scarce. With regard to product certification, it seems that products with a high complexity, with many factors influencing performance (such as green roofs) or products that are able to prevent a lot of damage if properly manufactured (such as flood barriers), are the first for which standards have been developed and certification schemes have been introduced. With the expected increase of climate change impacts and possible damages, certification may spread to more product categories.

Read more


Knowledge transfer workshops

Two Knowledge transfer Workshops (KtW) were organized. The first KtW was hosted by the core city of Bratislava from 12-13th June 2017 and included the tier-2 cities that were paired with Bratislava and Manchester, whereas the second knowledge transfer workshop was hosted by the core city of Paris on the 18-19th October 2017 and included the tier-2 cities assigned to Paris and Bilbao. The purpose of these workshops was twofold. On the one hand, the workshops facilitated the peer-to-peer exchange between the RESIN project tier-1 (core) and tier-2 cities, and on the other, they introduced the RESIN Project Consortium and tools to the tier-2 cities with a particular focus on the IVAVIA tool, the Adaptation Options Library and the E-Guide. The workshops were organized in such a way so as to maximize interaction and "hands-on" training.

Read more


eGuide development

The e-Guide’s main role is to guide the users through the process of generating an effective adaptation plan and provide (access to) supporting tools for this process.
In order to achieve these goals, the e-Guide is composed of several modules, each providing added value to the users in different areas of learning and executing an adaptation plan. The first version of the e-Guide provides all of the modules in a functional form, albeit lacking some of the user experience (UX) features. This allows the testing users to see and understand the extent of the functionalities that will be provided in the final version, once the content is updated and the non-essential features implemented. The aforementioned modules can be grouped into three main categories: Static Pages (SP), Decision Support Centre (DSC) and Learning Centre (LC).

Read more


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. This report aims to break down complexity and uncertainty into understandable definitions and aspects. By doing this, it accommodates the process of dealing with uncertainty and complexity in the RESIN project and linking useful methods and instruments to tackle complexity and uncertainty related challenges that arise in the context of adapting and building urban resilience to climate change. This report 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, such as scenario planning, adaptive pathway design and adaptive governance. Methods and instruments to address uncertainty and complexity will be part of discussion and application within the RESIN cities. During the course of the RESIN project the user experiences and elaborated user guidelines will be included in the RESIN e-Guide..

Read more



This report elaborates on the development approach and expected outline, use and form of the framework in which the decision support tooling will be presented to the end-users. To this end, a framework is developed in which all supportive elements to the end users can be placed, and presented. Eventually, in this framework, the supportive tools, methods and other structures will be referenced; this includes the results from other RESIN WP’s and external sources. Finally, an outline of a work plan is presented to develop and operationalise the framework, in close collaboration with the RESIN city partners.

Read more



This report, which gathers the cities assessment reports of all four RESIN cities of Bilbao, Bratislava, Greater Manchester and Paris, will allow the RESIN cities and project partners to gain an overview over which adaptation and critical infrastructure protection (CIP) strategies, plans and measures are already in place or planned. 

Read more



This report describes the general approach of the RESIN project to support the vulnerability analysis (VA) of urban areas and their critical infrastructures regarding the impacts of climate change (CC). IVAVIA is about how to structure and conduct the process of vulnerability assessment. That is, IVAVIA is a set of methods or practices for conducting the VA process. 

Read more



The RCF underpins RESIN by establishing a context for the project and clarifying the key concepts, and the relationships between them, that the project is developed around.

Read more



This document outlines the definitions for various terms that will be employed throughout the RESIN project. The definitions stem directly from RESIN’s State of the Art reports (Deliverable 1.1) with some minor modifications to harmonize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) definitions outlined in their most recent assessment report (AR5) (IPCC 2014). This deliverable is strongly linked to the RESIN Conceptual Framework (Deliverable 1.3). 

Read more



These reports aim to review the state of knowledge and scientific discourse in topics relevant for the RESIN programme of work.

Read more



Methods and Tools in support of Stakeholder Analysis and Involvement

This report presents an overview of methods and tools in support of a stakeholder analysis for the various steps and stages of preparing for and developing and implementing climate adaptation strategies.

Read more



Adaptation options database model

This study aims to develop a library or catalogue of standardised adaptation options.

Read more



This document provides an overview of the RESIN website and lays out the logic behind the design and the features that can be supported following future updates.

Read more