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Strathclyde team wins Springer Best Paper Award at Stuttgart Group Decision and Negotiation conference

4 September 2017

The Smart Mature Resilience team from the University of Strathclyde was awarded "Best Paper" at the Group Decision and Negotiation conference in Stuttgart from 14-18 August 2017, a major international management science and group decision conference. The awarded paper was authored by Colin Eden, Igor Pyrko, and Susan Howick and is entitled ‘Knowledge Acquisition Using Group Support Systems’. The paper describes the work undertaken to gather data for the construction of the Risk Systemicity Quesionnaire (RSQ) as part of the SMR project, which involved a new approach for using a Group Support System for research.

The paper reports on the use of a Group Support System (GSS) to acquire vast knowledge from city participants in seven European cities with respect to the interactions between risk events faced by the cities. Data collection took part during three workshops conducted as part of the Smart Mature Resilience project funded by the H2020 programme, and it was concerned with topics related to critical infrastructure, social dynamics, and climate change. The aim of data collection was to inform the construction of a Risk Systemicity Questionnaire (RSQ) which is an interactive tool designed to support cities in improving their resilience.

A series of GSS workshops was organized in which participants co-created the risk scenarios that formed the main content of the tool. While GSS have been previously used successfully to improve the productivity of team meetings, its use for acquisition of vast knowledge is under-researched. This paper presents an approach to using a GSS to inform specific research questions rather than to develop new solutions which participants can take ownership of and implement immediately in their work. In turn, the use of GSS in such non-traditional context poses a number of important methodological considerations of which GSS facilitators should be aware.

Firstly, the GSS provides an advantage of acquiring vast knowledge efficiently and significantly quicker than gaining evidence from literature. It may be argued that evidence from literature provides more accurate data, however, the GSS data can be validated incrementally as the data is analysed and used. Secondly, when GSS is applied to acquire vast knowledge in a relatively short amount of time, unlike traditional uses of the GSS, there is a tension between speed and efficiency and building group ownership versus validation of the knowledge acquired. However, when busy experts are involved, efficient knowledge acquisition may be the only realistic approach for conducting the research. And thirdly, this paper presents an argument that experts’ collaboration and communication within a GSS-facilitated workshop can be a more effective way of preparation for future risks rather than exclusively relying on past events.

The full paper is available in the conference proceedings on the GDN website.
SMR NEWS

Launch of SMR Tier 3 in Thessaloniki, Greece

24 August 2017

Three new cities: Reykjavik (Iceland), Malaga (Spain)and Stirling (United Kingdom) have joined the Smart Mature Resilience project's Tier 3. These cities will be the first project-external cities to receive tailored access to the project's five tools: the Maturity Model, Risk Systemicity Questionnaire, Resilience Information Portal, Policy Tool and Simulation Model.

The first in-person meeting of the new project cities (further cities to be announced) with the SMR project cities will take place on 7th November in Thessaloniki, Greece. Registration for this event has now opened and more information is available at http://smr-project.eu/news/events/?c=search&uid=19d972c8.
SMR NEWS

Second joint resilience newsletter

1 August 2017

The second collaborative newsletter between European projects working on resilience is out now! In this issue: 1) Smart Mature Resilience Project: Online Maturity Model launched, 2) DARWIN Project: Join the DARWIN Community of Practitioners, 3) RESILENS Project: Realising European Resilience for Critical Infrastructure, 4) Improver Project: Register now for our next workshop on the 21st September, 5) SMR invites cities to Thessaloniki workshop on strategic resilience planning, 6) Smart Mature Resilience project: Hear from the SMR cities.

To read the newsletter, click here.
RELATED NEWS

RESIN Newsletter Issue 6

31 July 2017

We are happy to share the sixth issue of the RESIN newsletter with
you. In this edition:
1) About RESIN: Video introduction to the RESIN project with
coordinator Peter Bosch, Tecnalia researcher EfrÉn Feliu and Deputy
Mayor of Bilbao Alfonso Gil
2) Open European Day: The RESIN project co-organized a successful
Open European Day at Bonn Resilient Cities
3) Spotlight on RESIN Tier 2 cities: Nijmegen and Radom
4) Research news: Development of the E-Guide
5) City news: Greater Manchester continues to engage with partners on
climate resilience and the RESIN project
6) Research news: Standardization
7) Co-creation news: Bratislava and vulnerability assessment
8) Related projects: New page on the RESIN website
9) Upcoming events

To read the RESIN newsletter, click here.
RELATED NEWS

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.

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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.