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Open European Day to put cities centre-stage to work together on adaptation

27 March 2017

As European citizens enjoy the first sunny days of spring, city planners and climate experts reflect on last winter’s flooding and storms and consider the heatwaves that are likely to hit European cities this summer. 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 events three main themes for the event and will frame the opening plenary, facilitated by organizers ICLEI Europe and the European Environment Agency, and with contributions by the Committee of the Regions, DG Clima, DG Research and the European Investment Bank.

The event will include interactive workshops where cities will present a real-life challenge and during the workshop, participants will explore solutions to these challenges. On the topic of innovation, participants will discuss examples from Bologna (Italy) and Lisbon (Portugal) of 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) will contribute on citizens as drivers of change, Greater London (UK) on adaptation and social inclusion and Vagos (Portugal), Valka (Latvia) and the Life DERRIS project will discuss co-creation with research and business.

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, 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 now open. A draft programme is now available on the Bonn Resilient Cities website at http://resilientcities2017.iclei.org/open-european-day/.

RELATED NEWS

Coping with complexity, handling uncertainty

16 March 2017

In their endeavours to increase the climate resilience of cities, urban administrators, planners and decision makers have to deal with considerable uncertainty and complexity. The effects of climate change in terms of the impact of extreme weather events and the frequencies and intensities with which they occur are uncertain. Consequences in terms of associated risks to cities, for their infrastructures and inhabitants, depend very much on preparations that cities have in place or are planning for, to cope with these phenomena. Moreover, uncertainties arise from cascading effect, due to (un)foreseen relations between different urban areas, stakeholders or adaptation measures.

Despite these considerable uncertainties, decision makers have to act. Although the terms uncertainty, risk management and complexity are widely used in the policy making domain, there is little appreciation for the fact that there are many different dimensions of uncertainty, and there is a lack of understanding about their different characteristics, relative magnitudes, and available means of dealing with them. This results in cities experiencing difficulties in how to deal with uncertainty and complexity, which nevertheless must be acknowledged and integrated into

policy making for the future.

RESIN has produced a document that aims to break down complexity and uncertainty into understandable definitions and aspects in the context of urban climate resilience. This improves the ability of linking methods and instruments to deal with complexity and uncertainty with the particular challenges that arise. Climate change policies in general are very reliant on uncertainty management. This means that the choice of

risk and uncertainty management strategy should be carefully weighed against the particular “uncertainty or complexity challenge” that is at stake. This effort 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. The methods and instruments presented in this report will be selectively discussed and applied within the RESIN cities.

SMR NEWS

European cities and communities need resilience

13 March 2017

Cities in Europe are facing increasing challenges and threats to citizens' safety and stability. Climate change is flooding homes and causing unprecedented storms, and cities are struggling to provide accommodation and support to their elderly and refugees fleeing war. Scientists and cities have been working intensively across Europe to investigate how to best provide cities with the support they need to enhance their cities and communities to be sustainable, resilient and prepared to handle the hazards ahead. European research projects working on the topic of resilience will come together at a unique workshop in Berlin to present their progress and discuss with cities their challenges and needs for becoming more resilient as well as sharing effective solutions and best practices.

The workshop is organised by DIN and will be held in the DIN premises in Berlin. In the final session of the workshop, standardisation will be discussed, and the way in which the development of standards can potentially support the resilience-building process in cities.

Limited travel support is available to city representatives for attending the workshop. For more information, please see the SMR website.

SMR NEWS

San Sebastian Mayor hails cities as the ideal scale for developing resilience

6 March 2017

Eneko Goia, Mayor of San Sebastian, welcomed the Smart Mature Resilience project to San Sebastian City Hall on 6th March 2017, emphasizing that “cities are the ideal scale for working on resilience”. Resilience-building is crucial to for San Sebastian, as the coastal city is already experiencing the consequences of climate change, particularly flooding. As the mayor joked, “The sea wants to recover all of those places we took in the past!” The project is developing a new Resilience Management Guideline, which helps cities to make the right decisions and policies to build resilience. This guideline is designed to be useable not only by the project cities, but by all European and global cities. Resilient cities support one another and bolster each other’s ability to recover from shocks and stresses.

“We are building the boat and sailing,” in the words of project coordinator Jose Mari Sarriegi, Tecnun, University of Navarra: the project partners, scientists and cities of San Sebastian, Glasgow, Kristiansand, Bristol, Vejle, Rome and Riga collaborate closely on developing the tools. Two of the tools are complete and are now available for use by cities: the Resilience Maturity Model and the Resilience Information Portal . A Risk Systemicity Questionnaire has been developed and tested in cooperation with the project cities, and this will be launched in the coming months.

The final two tools, the Resilience Policies Portfolio and the System Dynamics Model, are currently being developed. The System Dynamics Model is a game-style simulation programme that allows users to explore the effectiveness of implementing different resilience policies, helping to show which kinds of policies should be implemented in which order as the ideal trajectory towards a resilient city. The project partners and stakeholders are working on testing the model during the San Sebastian meeting, following which the tool developers will integrate the feedback gathered into the final, public version of the tool.

For information in Spanish, please see here.

For more information, please see www.smr-project.eu.

SMR NEWS

Cities receive specialist training in the SMR tools

2 February 2017

Smart Mature Resilience is undergoing an intensive period of local 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 have been developed so far.

Training visits began in January 2017 in Donostia, where local stakeholders received training on the use of the Risk Systemicity Questionnaire and the Resilience Information and Communication Portal. Following the training, a 2-tier webinar was held, where Tier 2 city of Bristol heard from the city of Donostia, the Risk Systemicity Questionnaire tool developers at Strathclyde and co-creation partner ICLEI a summary of the results of the training, asked questions and provided feedback on the results.

The process continued this week in Kristiansand, where stakeholders received training on the Resilience Information and Communication Portal and provided input for a webpage on Kristiansand via the tool. Training is currently continuing in Kristiansand on the Resilience Maturity Model. Following training in Kristiansand, Tier 2 partner Vejle will attend a webinar to receive a summary of the results, provide feedback and gain an insight into the outcomes of the training.

Training will continue next week in Donostia on the Resilience Maturity Model, followed by Risk Systemicity Questionnaire training in Kristiansand and accompanying webinars, before Glasgow completes the last phase of the training on all three tools.

RELATED NEWS

Vulnerability assessment tool piloted in RESIN cities

1 February 2017

RESIN’s new risk-based vulnerability assessment tool named ‘IVAVIA’ has been tested in Bilbao and Greater Manchester

The overall aim of a risk-based vulnerability assessment using IVAVIA is to facilitate the understanding of cause-effect relationships of climate change and to assess what impact on people, economy and built-up area under study can be expected now and for the future due to the changing climate. It enables the identification of geographical vulnerability hotspots, which can be used as an entry-point for adaptation measures. The identification of these hotspots will enable prioritizing the areas where actions are needed first.

IVAVIA is a procedure with 9 modules based on the 8 modules of the GIZ Vulnerability Sourcebook.

The application of IVAVIA is embedded in a larger cycle of repeated risk-based vulnerability assessment (IVAVIA), identification of adaptation options, adaptation planning, and implementation (RESIN conceptual framework). IVAVIA starts with preparatory work in module 0. The modules 0-2 have been applied to Bilbao and Greater Manchester so far. Other RESIN cities such as Bratislava will follow in early 2017.

Intermediate results of this activity are a set of impact chains. Modules 3–7 are currently under development, with a focus on estimating risk. After the application of module 8, participating cities may end up with an interactive map about their respective city exposed to a hazard of their choice.

Read more at http://www.resin-cities.eu/resources/tools/ivavia/.

Cities are invited and encouraged to provide their feedback on the tool via the RESIN LinkedIn group.

RELATED NEWS

Paris case study: Bercy-Charenton urban project

24 January 2017

The Bercy-Charenton urban project has been chosen to co-create and test the Adaptation Option Library developed by TECNALIA in the WP3 of RESIN. Located in the south-east of inner Paris, the Bercy-Charenton area covers around 70 hectares south of the 12th district. Surrounded by the Seine and heavy infrastructure (railways, ring road, and interchange of the A4), the area is facing many challenges such as reducing air and noise pollution issues and creating linkage between isolated areas. Through this urban project, the City of Paris aims to turn the site “from an industrial landscape into a new and integrated piece of city fabric”.

The RESIN project aims to help the City of Paris to find the best adaptation options regarding fluvial and pluvial flood risk, heat waves and drought on this site, where development work of public spaces and housing construction should take place from 2018 to 2030.

The first round of meetings for this case study will start in March 2017, and will involve RESIN partners (EIVP, TECNALIA, ICLEI), the urban project manager, the manager of the adaptation strategy of the City of Paris and the Chief Resilience Officer and its team. One of the objectives of the case study is benchmark different alternative designs. The meeting will serve to define together the criteria to be considered for the selection of the adaptation options and discuss the resulting list of adaptation options and the extracted information.

RELATED NEWS

Expect the unexpected and know how to respond

16 January 2017

DARWIN is developing resilience management guidelines which will improve responses to expected and unexpected natural and man-made disasters. The DARWIN Resilience Management Guidelines (DRMG) consist of a set of principles, methods, practices and strategies to aid organisations in the creation, assessment or improvement of their own guidelines. Based on resilience management concepts, the guidelines help the organisation in developing a critical view of its own crisis management activities. They are intended to complement existing guidelines, procedures and practices already present in an organisation.

Expert input and feedback is key to ensuring the DRMGs are practical and relevant to resilience and crisis management practitioners. DARWIN is fostering a community who can contribute their expertise to the development of the DRMGs to ensure they are of use to practitioners. The DARWIN Community of Practitioners (DCoP) interacts with the DARWIN team on a regular basis in order to provide their reactions and advice on the development of the DRMG.

DARWIN and the DCoP cooperate online at regular webinars, and face-to-face at annual DCoP workshops. At the most recent webinar, in November 2016 DARWIN partners presented the most recent developments of the DRMG; a set of concepts cards which assists organisations in assessing their resilience.

The next DCoP meeting will take place from the 28th to the 29th of March in Sweden. The workshop will focus on case studies that will be used for evaluation and piloting of the DRMGs, and simulation and training materials for use of the DRMG. The workshop will also collect feedback on the guidelines, as well as seek perspectives on how they can be improved and optimised.

To find out more about the next DCoP workshop, please see here: http://www.h2020darwin.eu/news/project-news/84-darwin-workshop-march-2017

If you would like to register for the workshop please contact: rebecka.forsberg@regionostergotland.se

RELATED NEWS

Bratislava teams up with European cities to adapt to climate change

12 January 2017

Bratislava is set to host experts from the Bremen (Germany) and Arnhem (Netherlands) next week to exchange experience on climate change adaptation as part of the Mayors Adapt City Twinning Programme, for which a total of ten European cities have been selected. The meeting will take place from January 16 to 17, 2017.

Although located in different parts of Europe, all the three cities; Bratislava, Bremen and Arnhem; face summer heatwaves, periods of drought, floods and extreme weather events.

As Ingrid Konrad, Chief Architect of the City of Bratislava explains, “Bratislava is making itself internationally visible by its activities in climate change adaptation. As one of the first cities in former Eastern Europe we have elaborated and adopted a strategy for adaptation to climate change and started implementing concrete pilot projects. This is one of the reasons why we have been addressed by the coordinators of Mayors Adapt to take part in the exchange of experience”.

Bratislava, as a core city of the RESIN project, is also working with a group of ‘Tier 2’ cities; Burgas (Bulgaria), Vilnius (Lithuania), Radom (Poland) and Sfântu Gheorghe (Romania), which are observing and providing feedback as Bratislava tests newly-developed tools. RESIN investigates climate change adaptation and resilience in European cities, and as part of the project, the city is working with researchers to co-create practical and applicable tools to support cities in designing and implementing climate adaptation strategies for their local contexts. This co-creation process will also be addressed and shared as part of the upcoming meeting.

The meeting will create a space for the discussion of topics such as creating a suitable city microclimate in summer and winter months, the significance of permeable surfaces, urban greenery and the natural environment, as well as sustainable management of rainwater. The discussion shall also focus on correctly selecting adaptation measures, which have a positive impact not only on the environment but also on the economy. With special regard to economic benefits of adaptation measures, experienced experts from the Institute of Economic and Environmental Policy, University of J. E. Purkyně in Ústí nad Labem, the Czech Republic, have been invited by Mrs. Ingrid Konrad, Chief Architect of the City of Bratislava, to give a lecture on this topic. Applying suitable adaptation measures not only increases citizens’ quality of life, but it also significantly reduces the costs of heating and cooling buildings and the maintenance of green areas, as well as preventing property damage.

The City Twinning Programme enables the cities which have shown interest in this kind of cooperation to delegate their representatives – experts in climate change adaptation to a 2-day visit to another partner city. The City Twinning also enables a visit to other cities, which facilitates building partnerships between European cities and thus possibly starting future cooperation in adaptation to climate change.

Mayors Adapt is an initiative of the European Commission, which obliges the signatories to adopt concrete steps for adapting to negative effects of climate change in their territories. Currently, Mayors Adapt has a successor initiative – the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, which reflects the EU 2030 goals for adaptation to climate change and energy as well as an integrated approach in addressing adaptation to climate change and mitigating its negative impacts. Bratislava joined Mayors Adapt in 2014.

SMR NEWS

Bristol launches Resilience Strategy

19 December 2016

Bristol (United Kingdom) has laid out its path towards greater resilience by officially launching its Resilience Strategy last Monday, comprising resilience pillars, goals and transformative actions to be realised over the next 50 years. The council shared the ‘Bristol Resilience Strategy’ - a framework to protect Bristol against potential shocks and pressures it may encounter in the future.

As the plan is looking ahead over the next 50 years, there is a large focus on young people and how they can help build a more resilient future for the city. Many of the ideas included in the strategy will benefit the next generation, these include; votes for 16 year olds, free bus travel for U16s and a vision for a child-friendly city.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “Resilience speaks to everything that we do and this strategy will help us, our partners and the community develop a strong plan for our shared future.

“By setting out a clear and deliberate vision of what and where we want to be as a city, we hope to be better placed to deal with issues that affect us now and into the future.

“We need to take bold action to make sure that Bristol is able to adapt, develop and deliver change effectively and in the best interests of everyone who lives and works here. I’m pleased that we have this opportunity to work with our communities and include people in owning and shaping our long term future. Together we can help make sure everyone feels the benefit of Bristol’s strengths and success whilst being best protected from everything life throws at us.”

The strategy, which has been drawn up with key stakeholders, aims to build on the work already being done to make the city socially, environmentally and economically sustainable. It sets out intentions to create a ‘flourishing’ city and tackle some of Bristol’s major issues, including, traffic congestion, affordable housing and child poverty.

Bristol is a Tier-2 city of Smart Mature Resilience. As part of the project, Bristol is working closely together with its Tier 1 city partner of Donostia (Spain) and the project scientists to develop tools to support resilience development in both cities and in other cities around Europe.

Bristol City Council has already contributed to the development of the new Resilience Information Portal, a collaborative environment designed to facilitate awareness and engagement among key partners in resilience building. A prototype of the platform is already available online, and cities are invited to make use of this free tool to complement their internal and external communication platforms within their city administration and as part of communicating resilience-related information with their citizens.

Bristol has also been actively involved in developing the Resilience Maturity Model, which enables cities to self-assess its resilience status and provides a roadmap for how cities’ resilience development could be rolled out. The Maturity Model is already online and available for cities to download and use.

Bristol has also contributed to pilot testing of the Risk Systemicity Questionnaire, which is currently under development by the University of Strathclyde. The Risk Systemicity Questionnaire is an interactive tool that allows users to assess their cities’ risks and risk preparedness and suggests possible policies that could be adopted in order to make the cities more resilient against these risks.

The city’s engagement in the Smart Mature Resilience project is one of the ways in which Bristol is taking steps to achieve its resilience aims, such as making the city’s success available to all and addressing the challenges of inequality in health and access to economic opportunities by supporting and empowering the city’s diverse communities.

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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.