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

18 April 2018

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


 

SMR NEWS

New Research Will Lead to a More Resilient Europe

10 April 2018

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.

SMR NEWS

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

20 March 2018

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.

SMR NEWS

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

19 March 2018

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.

SMR NEWS

Joint Resilience Newsletter #3

26 February 2018

We are happy to share with you the third collaborative edition of the Resilience newsletter to present the work of European-funded projects working towards the shared objective of building resilience in Europe.

In this edition:

- Save the Date: Critical Infrastructure Resilience Conference 2018
- SMR: Kristiansand is on the Road to Resilience
- SMR: Five tools for resilient cities
- SMR: Standardization
- SMR: 9 new cities join SMR Tier 3
- SMR: Training period for Tier 4
- DARWIN: Webinar - ‘Resilience Management – From Theory to Practice: A Practical Adaption of Concept Cards’
- DARWIN: Community of Practitioners (DCoP)
- Improver Project
- RESILENS Project
- Upcoming Events

Read the newsletter at http://smr-project.eu/news/newsletter/2018/nl3/.

SMR NEWS

Defining ‘resilient’ in Kristiansand

21 February 2018

The Norwegian city of Kristiansand suffered from devastating flooding in autumn 2017. Lessons from the floods and participating in the European project Smart Mature Resilience (SMR) are putting the municipality of Kristiansand on the right track towards increased resilience to disasters and crises.


"What does the word ‘resilient’ actually mean?” The Mayor of Kristiansand Municipality, Harald Furre and the municipality’s Emergency Response Manager Sigurd Paulsen have been working closely on the SMR project and on the concept of resilience, which is a new concept in the Norwegian language.


Civil protection


“In everyday speech words such as robust, durable or resistant are probably the best synonyms for ‘resilient’. However, we know that these words do not cover the definition of ‘resilient’ as applicable to the Smart Mature Resilience project,” explains the Mayor, who believes that beyond traditional civil protection, real resilience means getting better at protecting lives and infrastructure.


“But, now we’re on the subject, having collaborated on the SMR project with European cities both large and small for a few years now, we believe that the word ‘resilient’ is not as fitting and all-embracing as ‘durable’. Nonetheless, the measures that a city takes with regard to preventive work and to be able to handle undesired incidents, and the way it both learns from challenges and shares experiences with other cities facing the same challenges, must all be ‘resilient’.”


 


Autumn floods


The “once-in-500-year” floods that hit southern Norway in October 2017 were caused by two fronts of torrential rain in three days. Mayor Furre explains that most of the municipality’s rivers and streams burst their banks. Two major rivers, the Otra and Tovdalselva, flow through the municipality of Kristiansand. The River Tovdalselva is an unregulated watercourse and rose more quickly than the Otra. In a matter of hours several residents had to evacuate themselves and their animals as water breached homes and outbuildings in the middle of the night.


A couple of weeks later, once the floods had receded, the Mayor visited the affected area with the King of Norway, Harald V.


 


No loss of life


“Norway’s royal family are extremely caring people with a great commitment to the community. When the King saw pictures of the floods in the media he quickly decided to visit the affected area to talk with the residents. We were met by caring and compassionate fellow human beings who had looked after each other and were in good spirits despite having lost house and home when the river burst its banks. The King stated he was particularly pleased that no lives were lost in the floods, as are we all,” commented Mayor Furre.


“Norway’s Minister of Local Government Jan Tore Sanner and Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Søviknes visited the flooded areas and those affected immediately after the floods, and witnessed the major material damage first-hand. A total of 186 claims were registered with insurance companies in the municipality of Kristiansand alone. 89 per cent of these, with a value of NOK 82 million, were flood-related. The River Otra is well regulated and Agder Energi’s emergency response team were able to slow the water flow by as much as 30–40 per cent. Without their efforts, the damage would have been much greater,” explains Mayor Furre, who points out some of the challenges that the municipality is more aware of following the floods.


“Many existing homes, businesses, road networks and electricity and fibre cables are in areas already at risk of landslides or flooding. While we can use the Norwegian Planning and Building Act to protect new areas, or areas that are changed as a result of rebuilding or new regulations, it’s more difficult to change things in already vulnerable areas. People don’t generally plan for once-in-500-year floods,” explains the Mayor, and emphasises that Kristiansand has a good emergency response team and is adept at handling undesired incidents.


“But we can always improve,” he says, before adding that Kristiansand is currently collaborating on the SMR project as well as with other authorities and organisations active within the community.


 


The University of Agder


“We’ve enjoyed excellent help from the University of Agder on the project and its Centre for Integrated Emergency Management (CIEM) and dedicated laboratory. The University has helped us to improve the way we communicate with both partner agencies and the general public. We have also had the pleasure of working closely with Vejle Municipality in Denmark, which prepared a forward-looking resilience strategy in 2016. We have studied this and incorporated some of the design into our Municipal Master Plan for the period 2017–2030.”


The SMR project started in 2015 and is due to be completed in June this year. On 13 February, Mayor Furre welcomed delegates to the second Regional Workshop of the Smart Mature Resilience project in Kristiansand, where the city presented its progress on the SMR project tools and highlighted how Kristiansand has benefited from the project. The workshop gathered 24 participants not only from the city of Kristiansand, but also from the Norwegian municipalities of Sandnes, Søgne , Vennesla, Songdalen and the city of Linköping. Amongst others, stakeholders like the Fire Brigade, advisors from Agder Energy and the County Governor's office and the Norwegian Red Cross joined the workshop, provided feedback on the European Resilience Management Guideline and tested three out of the five tools of the SMR Resilience Toolbox (Resilience Maturity Model, Risk Systemicity Questionnaire and Resilience Building Policies Tool). The workshop focussed on the uptake of the SMR Resilience Toolbox for tackling relevant hazards for Scandinavia and Northern Europe, like extreme flooding events and their cascading effects and failure of critical infrastructure.


European cities invited to join Kristiansand in building resilience


The SMR project will share its tools and guidelines with cities in public events between now and summer 2018. Following the Kristiansand workshop, European cities are invited to Brussels for a Stakeholder Workshop as part of ICLEI Europe’s Breakfast at Sustainability’s series, a showcase at the Open European Day at Bonn Resilient Cities on 25th April, and a series of regional clustering workshops in Spring 2018 in Kristiansand (Norway), Malaga (Spain), Berlin (Germany) and Athens (Greece). Global cities also received training on the SMR tools at the UN World Urban Forum on 9th February in Kuala Lumpur.


More information and registration for the events are available at the SMR Project website.

RELATED NEWS

European cities face more extreme weather than previously thought

21 February 2018

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/.
SMR NEWS

European and global cities come aboard the good ship SMR at European regional workshops and the UN World Urban Forum

8 February 2018

The Smart Mature Resilience team is on the road this February visiting European and global cities to train cities on the use of the tool suite that supports the European Resilience Management Guideline. Targeted regional workshops across Europe and a training session at the UN Habitat World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia will share the tools with a new pool of cities. The series kicked off on 8th February with a Southern Europe Regional Workshop in the Tier 3 city of Malaga (Spain). This workshop was aimed at cities from Andalusia and southern Spain, who will join the Tier 4 group of cities and focussed on the uptake of SMR tools for tackling relevant hazards for Spain and Southern Europe.

A training session on "Strategic planning tools for urban resilience: city-to-city exchange on local resilience planning" will include introductions to the European Resilience Management Guideline, training on the Resilience Maturity Model, Risk Systemicity Questionnaire and Resilience Building Policies tool, and will include contributions by the Tier 3 city of Malmö (Sweden), further European cities of Bonn (Germany) and Umea (Sweden). Participants will include local and national government representatives from China, Denmark, Angola, Morocco, Nepal, Ethiopia, USA, Australia, Kenya, Argentina and Yemen.

The regional workshop for Scandinavian cities will be held in Kristiansand on 13th February and will focus on the uptake of SMR tools for tackling relevant hazards for Scandinavia and Northern Europe, water management, extreme flooding events and failure of critical infrastructure. Confirmed cities to date include Kristiansand (Norway), Vejle (Denmark), Oslo (Norway), Stavanger (Norway) and Malmö (Sweden).

A Central Europe Regional Workshop will take place in Berlin on 15th February and will focus on the uptake of SMR tools for tackling relevant hazards for Central Europe, namely extreme weather events, failure of infrastructure, storms and flooding, getting collective feedback on the European Resilience Management Guideline and reinforcing city-to-city collaboration through co-creation activities on resilience. The workshop will be combined with a Standardization workshop organised by German standardization institute DIN on CEN Workshop 92 City Resilience Development: Operational Guidance.

The final regional workshop will take place on 28 February in Athens (Greece) for the southeastern European region. This event will focus on the uptake of SMR tools for tackling heat waves and the Urban Heat Island effect in Greek cities and for the implementation of the Resilient Athens 2030 strategy, reinforcing city-to-city collaboration through co-creation activities on resilience and getting collective feedback on the European Resilience Management. The event is aimed at adjacent and neighboring municipalities to Athens and further Greek cities, with a view to potentially joining the SMR Tier 4.

Following this series will be a high-level event aimed at policymakers in Brussels as part of ICLEI Europe's Breakfast at Sustainability's.

Click here for further details on the SMR events and registration.
RELATED NEWS

EPICURO project newsletter

22 January 2018

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.

RELATED NEWS

CRITIS conference: Call for papers

20 December 2017

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.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 653569.