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Bratislava is adapting to climate change

28 July 2017

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

SMR NEWS

SMR invites cities to Thessaloniki workshop on strategic resilience planning

18 July 2017

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.
RELATED NEWS

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

4 July 2017

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.

SMR NEWS

Fifth newsletter out now!

28 June 2017

The fifth edition of the SMR newsletter is out now. In this edition, read about our new online version of the Resilience Maturity Model, video interviews with each of SMR's 7 cities, the new Risk Systemicity Questionnaire, Resilience Information Portal, the launch of SMR's first standardisation process and the nomination of the SMR website for the Eurid web awards.

Read the latest newsletter here!
SMR NEWS

Equipping cities to use the SMR tools: comprehensive stakeholder training

9 June 2017

The Smart Mature Resilience project is undergoing another period of local stakeholder 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 are being developed at the moment.

The first stakeholder training workshop took place in Donostia-San Sebastian beginning of June 2017, while the next visit is already planned for middle of July in Glasgow. During these trainings, local stakeholders receive training on the use of the System Dynamics Model, which accompanies the Resilience Maturity Model that is already available online.

The System Dynamics Model allows its users, specifically municipal employees and elected officials that are engaged in activities connected to strategic planning and management of the city to train themselves and understand which the main elements of the resilience building process in their city are.

Following the training, a 2-tier webinar will be held, where the tier-2 city of Bristol will be informed on the training activities and results from the city of Donostia, the tool developers of Tecnun, University of Navarra and co-creation partner ICLEI Europe, while they will be able to ask questions and provide feedback on the results. Stay tuned for the webinar announcement or catch up with the results later.
SMR NEWS

SMR project launches CEN Workshop Agreement: CEN WS/88 - Functional Specification for a Resilience Information Portal

6 June 2017

The Smart Mature Resilience project is working towards standardized methods to build resilience in European cities. The workshop will aim at developing consensus-based list of requirements on how municipalities could equip an information system that facilitates building up resilience through collaboration, communication, and engagement. This marks the functional specification for a Resilience Information Portal.

The kick-off meeting will be held on 21 June 2017 in Brussels at ICLEI Europe. All interested parties are welcome to register for participation and submit comments on the draft Project Plan to Workshop Secretary, René Lindner no later than 16 June 2017.

The final deliverable of this Workshop (CEN/CWA) is expected to be finalized in November 2017.

Details of the event are available at http://smr-project.eu/news/events/?c=search&uid=d799f4d1.
SMR NEWS

City resilience through standardization: SMR presents to standardization committee

1 June 2017

The SMR project has presented its tools and standardization activities to the plenary meeting today in Berlin of ISO/TC 268: Sustainable cities and communities. The project's tools and the standardization potential for city resilience were presented by Holger Robrecht (ICLEI Europe), Vasileios Latinos (ICLEI Europe) and Rene Lindner (DIN). Standardization in the field of Sustainable Cities and Communities will include the development of requirements, frameworks, guidance and supporting techniques and tools related to the achievement of sustainable development considering smartness and resilience, to help all Cities and Communities and their interested parties in both rural and urban areas become more sustainable.

The proposed series of International Standards will encourage the development and implementation of holistic and integrated approaches to sustainable development and sustainability. TC 268 will contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals through its standardization work.

As part of SMR’s standardization work, the project has identified the following standards particularly relevant for resilient cities are:

- ISO 37101: aims at helping cities and communities to better coordinate participatory development and implementation of a local sustainability programme. The standard supports good governance by describing a coherent, community-based management approach. A practical guidance for cities on practical implementation is under development (ISO 37104).
- ISO 37120: recommends a selection of indicators for local reporting on life-quality. The selection is voluntary and based on local priorities.
- ISO 37150: provides a reference framework for “Smart urban infrastructures” based on ISO 22325, ISO 22316 and BS 65000 Organizational Resilience.

SMR supports the dissemination and mainstreaming of resilience by engaging in standardization activities with DIN to create a standard for resilience management.
SMR NEWS

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

17 May 2017

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/.

RELATED NEWS

Development of the RESIN e-Guide

16 May 2017

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.
RELATED NEWS

European Investment Bank supports the Open European Day 2017

19 April 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/.

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DISCLAIMER

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