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RESIN maps out the next steps in solutions for strategic adaptation planning in European cities at Brussels meeting

28 November 2017

The RESIN project consortium met in Brussels on 23-24 November 2017 to consider the project outputs in an international policy context and to invite guidance from the projects Advisory Board and reviewers.
The RESIN project’s ideal partnership of pioneering research experts and active city representatives uniquely position the project as creators of a complete adaptation action package. The RESIN tools, which are now nearing completion, will be the first of their kind, going beyond local cases and consolidating accumulated experience and knowledge to generate reliable, evidence-supported toolkits that will be both scientifically novel and user-friendly.

“We are approaching a crucial time in terms of solution finding.”

Diogo de Gusmao-Soerensen (DG Research, Head of Climate Services) stressed the importance of impact and policy relevance of research projects. As a European-funded project, RESIN is optimally placed to advise and guide policy developments on a local and international level on the topic of climate change adaptation in cities. Developments at the recent 2017 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23) held in Bonn (Germany) showed that the issues addressed in this project are crucial. This topic of research and discussion is incredibly important and pertinent. European Union member states have made vital commitments to climate change at COP23 and must lead and bolster their peers in the international community to commit to climate change action.

“To some communities around the world, climate change of 1.5 degrees is high end climate change.”
An appeal was made to the project consortium to ensure that the high-end scenarios are taken on board when dealing with resilience. It is also important to take into account the economic aspects of adaptation and to focus on finding and offering solution to climate change adaptation challenges.

“We wanted to adjust the timing of the tool development to match cities’ needs.”

The RESIN partner cities have been central players in the RESIN project. While the original concept of the project was that the four core cities of Greater Manchester, Bratislava, Bilbao and Paris would test the tools developed by the research institutions, this relationship has developed to involve the cities in an even more central role. The project has aimed for optimal compatibility between tool development and strategic development in the cities by adjusting the timing of the tool development with the city’s local milestones. Further than the cities’ knowledge being applied to improve the tools’ quality, the RESIN cities have been able to already make progress on adaptation through the tools before the tools have even been developed to completion. Workshops focusing on knowledge transfer workshops showed the success of the co-creation process, as they demonstrated that the tools were also applicable to external (Tier 2) cities.

“Having something red green and amber for risk registries can be useful for cities.”

In terms of linking vulnerability and risk assessment, the Impact and Vulnerability Analysis (IVAVIA) tool has been a useful step as part of the co-creation process. Adaptation has been placed high on the agenda in the RESIN partner cities. The RESIN cities of Manchester and Bilbao have been central in the development of this tool and have both developed impact chains as part of the process.

Greater Manchester carried out a process of consultation to establish which impact chains to develop. Two were selected: road transport and green infrastructure. Supported by their RESIN co-creation partner, the Fraunhofer Institute, they held initial stakeholder workshops to establish the impact chains. This work aims to support decision-makers in Greater Manchester to push forward the adaptation and resilience agenda. Up to now, Greater Manchester has completed a case study, baseline assessment, priority impact chains and a two-stage risk assessment. Flood risk and transport infrastructure are a particular focus.

“We have to connect to our environment. We are four cities, but surrounding us there are further cities with related problems.”

Bilbao is looking ahead to the city’s new Adaptation Plan, which will be submitted next year. As part of their work on the development of IVAVIA, Bilbao developed an impact chain for flooding in built-up areas. This is a very real and immediate risk for the rainy coastal city. An impact chain was also developed about the impact of extreme precipitation on city traffic infrastructure. The process in Bilbao has shown the importance of cross-cutting data administration and the need for co-creation, not only within the RESIN project but to improve projects across the municipality.

Bratislava has been working with Tecnalia to develop a database of adaptation options. In the case of Bratislava, this co-creation process has been very closely linked to strategic processes in the city. Bratislava published a new “Action plan for adaptation to negative effects of climate change” in 2017. The city is planning to use the RESIN adaptation options library to evaluate the action plan for climate change adaptation progress every two years.

Bratislava found the adaptation options library to be useful for a number of purposes:
1) Adaptation planning for relevant departments, together with the outcomes of the vulnerability assessment
2) Preparing new concept and strategies for design of public space
3) For meeting standards and limits set by competition rules

The tools of the RESIN project are useful as a complementary combined suite of tools, which provide cities with comprehensive decision support taking them though the whole climate change adaptation planning process. This suite is hosted in an online guidance platform called the “eGuide”. A prototype eGuide is already available online at e-guide.resin.itti.com.pl. An update is planned for Spring 2018 and the final version will be released in Autumn 2018.

The eGuide has been developed for and by the end users. It provides practical information, guidance, the suite of RESIN tools and a structure to document and save the reports and materials a city develops as part of the climate change adaptation planning process. This answers to the reality in cities where strategies can develop over several years, and in the case of staff circulation, new staff need an integrated platform to find information on processes that may span across several municipal departments and involve public-private actors.

The final RESIN tools will be launched in Spring 2018. RESIN will hold its first public event aimed at city practitioners in Greater Manchester on 1st February: Solutions for strategic adaptation planning in European cities.

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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.