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SMR NEWS

Jose J. Gonzalez presents SMR at CTG, Albany, New York

11 January 2016

Prof. Dr. Jose J. Gonzalez presented the SMR project in Center for Technology in Government (CTG) on 11 January 2016. CTG is a research institution as part of the University at Albany, New York, USA, focusing on the development of innovative solutions to help governments better provide public services through technology. Through applied research and partnerships, projects are undertaken that address the policy, management, and technology dimensions of information use in the public sector.

People in the photo (from left to right) Meghan Cook (CTG Program Director), C. Brian Burke (CTG Managing Director), Theresa Pardo (CTG Center Director), J. Ramon Gil-Garcia (CTG Research Director), Jose Julio Gonzalez, Prof. David Andersen (Rockefeller College, University at Albany), Megan Sutherland (CTG Program Associate), Luis Felipe Luna-Reyes (CTG Faculty Fellow) and Associate Professor Eliot Rich (University at Albany School of Business).

SMR NEWS

Critical Infrastructure Dependencies in Bristol, Donostia, Glasgow, Kristiansand, Riga, Rome and Vejle

3 January 2016

The first workshop of the SMR project was organised by the council of Riga and took place from the 26th to the 29th of October 2015 in Riga, Latvia. The main objective of this first workshop in Riga was to gather useful information from experts regarding Critical Infrastructures (CI) and their dependencies to be able to develop the tools proposed in the project proposal. The attendees of the workshop included sixteen participants from the seven partner cities of Bristol, Donostia, Glasgow, Kristiansand, Riga, Rome and Vejle, and also a number of observers from academic-partner institutions.

In the case of each city, climate-related disasters were subsequently followed by reactions in city halls whether by means of legislation, infrastructure or simply greater prioritisation of the issue. Resilience-building would prevent the need for disasters to happen in order for preventative action to be taken, and each city is participating in SMR in order to be able to pre-empt these disaster situations.

The cities agreed that volunteers play a crucially important role in dealing with disasters and crisis. Secondly, they found that it is important to be prepared for unexpected circumstances. Finally, in each case, information and knowledge -sharing among stakeholders was agreed to be vital.

Flooding

Bristol, Riga, Vejle and Donostia found that they had all dealt with similar challenges related to flooding.

Bristol’s power and water supply were affected by flooding in 2007, which led to the introduction of new flood and water management legislation in 2010, which empower city councils and local coordinators to make more decisions regarding flooding.

In the spring of 2013, the main road between the east and the west of the city council in Riga was completely submerged and the transport system was unable to function as normal. In both Riga and Bristol’s case, flood events provoke cities into action. In both cases, local risk management strategies had also been developed to work with communities and different stakeholders.

In 1999, a heavy storm in Vejle caused a power outage that lasted for four days, causing manufacturing to grind to a halt for several businesses. This event led to companies planning alternative emergency supply generators for crisis situations, and also fostered networking and information sharing among electricity suppliers.

Donostia’s communication system was affected by flooding in 2007, incapacitating emergency services during the peak of the crisis. This led to the improvement of emergency services and alarm warnings that capitalise on neighbourhood outreach via social media. Companies and industries located in flood-prone areas have also been moved to lower-risk areas.

Snowstorms

In 2007, a heavy snowfall affected Kristiansand, confining people to their homes and gridlocking the city. The impact of the event was so high that intervention at the regional level and volunteer teams’ help were necessary. The following year, the city invested new equipment to improve their ability to respond to snowfalls. The snowfall event also fast-tracked the construction of an already-planned highway that was better prepared to deal with this type of crisis.

Crowding

The city of Rome presented the problems produced by the unexpected high affluence of people visiting Rome in 2005 because of the Pope’s funeral. 4 million people descended on the city and approximately 8.5 million people used the underground system in one week. Numerous volunteers provided their help to organise this event. This event also led to the overuse of some basic services like telecommunication and hotspots. To solve this, the city needed to increase the amount of infrastructures to ensure the provision of these basic services was founded. Therefore, local authorities delegated the responsibility to deal with this event to national authorities.

Electricity failure

Riga faced a blackout in electricity supply in 1980 and consequently the consumers were switched off the grid. After this event, they increased the number of electric supply infrastructure to prevent this from happening again.

In 1994, Glasgow was affected by flooding that had an economic impact on the city. This disaster led the authorities to think collectively at a strategic level and to develop risk plans to mitigate the flood impacts. Moreover, partnerships were created among private consultancies, private companies, and the Scottish water agency. In 2011, engineering works were developed to prevent flooding and these risk plans have been improved over the last years.

As a result of heavy snowfall in Riga during November 2013, the roof of a popular shopping mall collapsed under the accumulated snow, causing the deaths of fifty-seven people. Since this event, the societal awareness of the importance of structural building maintenance increased. A new construction department was also created in charge of analysing buildings and determining which buildings are no longer fit for use.

Click here to read the full report

SMR NEWS

TIEMS Annual Conference

17 October 2015

The Smart Mature Resilience project was represented at the annual conference of The International Emergency Management Society (TIEMS) in Rome from 30 September - 2 October 2015. Project coordinator Jose Maria Sarriegi represented the project and was an invited speaker, presenting on the topic “The Smart Mature Resilience Project for Resilience Management Guideline” presented on day 3 at 10:00.

As a result of the successful participation, TIEMS has invited the project to submit a publication for its upcoming newsletter.

For more information on TIEMS please click here to visit their website.

SMR NEWS

Research Council of Norway

22 September 2015

An article on the Smart Mature Resilience project was published in the Research News of the RCN, particularly focussing of the close involvement of the Tier 1 project CITY of Kristiansand and the Partner University of Agder. The full article (only available in Norwegian) is available to read via the below link.

Click here to read the full article.

SMR NEWS

European Commission-funded Projects on Resilience

15 September 2015

Representatives of the five successful projects funded under the Horizon 2020 call DRS-7-2014 and a resilience project funded under FP7 met in Brussels to develop a framework of cooperation and communication. Representatives of the Horizon 2020 funded projects, Smart Mature Resilience, DARWIN, IMPROVER, RESILENS, RESOLUTE and DRIVER will come together to share results, collaborate and ensure the maximum effectiveness and efficiency of each of these ambitious and innovative research projects.

Representatives of the six projects created a shared strategy and approach for effective collaboration at a multi-project meeting in the Research Executive Agency building in Brussels in September. The projects will also communicate to aid dissemination between and beyond the projects and to develop a cohesive taxonomy of terms to inform a common frame of reference, which will guide future discourse on the topic in general.

More information on the five projects as part of this cooperative are available here.

SMR NEWS

Smart Mature Resilience Kick-Off Meeting

24 June 2015

The Smart Mature Resilience project officially started on 22 June 2015 in Donostia - San Sebastian, Spain, where the project partners met for a kick-off meeting. The event was kindly hosted by Tecnun (University of Navarra). The kick-off meeting served as an excellent opportunity to align the project's diverse partners' perspectives on key aspects of the project.

The meetings were utilised for work package partners to plan in more detail project activities and tools, laying down the foundation for subsequent productive and efficient work package progress.

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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.