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Donostia continues to strengthen its resilience with the Smart Mature Resilience project

26 October 2016

A few days ago, one of the most significant known cyber-terrorist attacks to date hit some of the world's major technological and media groups. The fall-out saw citizens unable to access their online services and raised alarm as to whether user data could have landed in the hands of cybercriminals.

A team of researchers at Tecnun, University of Navarra, has been working for on the Smart Mature Resilience project for the last, as the coordinator of a consortium of 13 institutions, universities and experts in resilience.

The objective of this project is to deal with potential crises resulting from climate change, social dynamics, and possible failures or emergencies in critical infrastructure, creating guides European resilience to prevent and deal with the potential consequences of these phenomena.


Introduction to prototype stakeholder engagement tools and cities share their needs at Kristiansand workshop

21 September 2016

The Smart Mature Resilience project is holding its review workshop in Kristiansand, Norway. The project has had an introduction this morning to the prototype Community Engagement and Communication Tool and with feedback from the project’s Tier 1 cities on their experience so far in the project on stakeholder engagement.

The cities also shared the security sectors they are focusing on as part of the project, their needs from the new communication platform and how it related to the communication systems their cities already have in place. The Community Engagement and Communication Tool will serve as a toolbox, where cities can compare the communication systems already in place in their systems and choose elements and features of the platform to serve their individual contexts. The tool works with real-time concrete data, which can be supplied by different users on different administrative levels, and the platform is designed for ease of use and does not require advanced technical knowledge.

Sigurd Paulsen of the city of Kristiansand, where the workshop takes place, identified water and waste as the security sectors of particular focus, and noted that the city is currently significantly investing in these areas. The city has worked closely with local research partner CIEM to provide comprehensive feedback and information on the city’s current communication practices in order to guide development of the tool and to optimize its potential for practical application. Paulsen noted that SMR workshops and networking have drawn attention to the need to build resilience within municipal administration and has also improved relationships and communication with city stakeholders, as well as spreading knowledge of resilience at national events, reaching national governmental actors. Kristiansand has also been able to closely cooperate with the city of Vejle through the project.

Judith Moreno, Donostia, named cyber security as a sector of particular focus for Donostia. Donostia found valuable networking at project events, as diverse experts from the city met at the SMR kickoff events, who are working on topics related to resilience, including health, food and crisis management, and networking through the SMR project gave these stakeholders the opportunity to discuss their experiences, which are diverse but related. Like Kristiansand, awareness of the need for resilience and the value of resilience-building has been recognised as a high priority on municipal agendas as a result of the project. As a bilingual city, Donostia has come up against the challenge of articulating and communicating resilience issues in translation. Standardization partners DIN were able to offer to support the city in this challenge and confirmed that they have comprehensive experience with addressing this challenge.

Frankie Barrett, Glasgow City Council, noted water security as a focus of Glasgow’s current resilience-building as part of the SMR project. He noted the intersections between physical and social resilience, and the importance of developing resilience against flood risk, as this can put the city’s most vulnerable groups at higher risk as a result of social factors. Glasgow has recently released its own resilience strategy. As a result of the project, Glasgow has been able to more closely communicate with stakeholders who had not previously been reached regarding resilience. Communication and coordination with national governmental level has also been boosted through the SMR project.

The workshop will continue with feedback from the Tier 2 cities.


8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns

3 May 2016

The Smart Mature Resilience project contributed to the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns, held from 27-29 April in Bilbao, Spain. The core project city of Donostia/San Sebastián played a prominent role in the conference, which was organised by ICLEI - Local Environments for Sustainability alongside several Basque partners.

Eneko Goia, Mayor of San Sebastián in an interview with media at the conference, emphasised the importance of building the city's resilience, noted the value in the city's participation in the Smart Mature Resilience project as part of this process, while emphasising the effectiveness of cooperating with other cities in Europe to solve common challenges together.

Tecnun and ICLEI presented the project as part of the Innovation Market on the second day of the conference, at which over 800 representatives of local and regional government, European and international institutions, multilateral organisations, members of the research community, business leaders, and civil society participated.


SMR project pilots new tools to enhance resilience to climate change

19 April 2016

The Smart Mature Resilience (SMR) project launched the pilot implementation of its tools in partner city Donostia/San Sebastián, Basque Country (Spain) on 13 April 2016 at a kick-off workshop in the project host institution of Tecnun, University of Navarra. According to Diario de Noticias de Gipuzkoa, Mayor of San Sebastián Eneko Goia opened the meeting, noting that San Sebastián faces “two risks associated with the global phenomenon of climate change that test the resilience of the city itself: these are the sea and the river.”

He further noted the importance of the event in Tecnun, as it marks the launch of the testing phase of the SMR project's pilot tools, which aim to enhance cities’ capacity to resist, absorb and recover from the hazardous effects of climate change. SMR researchers work with the project partner cities of San Sebastián, Glasgow (UK) and Kristiansand (Norway) to develop tools to assess and develop cities’ resilience. Together, they develop and pilot tools in these three core cities. The tools are then reviewed and evaluated by researchers and by a group of four other partner cities. It is foreseen that they will be spread to cities in Europe and beyond.

The testing process was launched in February 2016 in Kristiansand with a workshop focusing on water, and continued in San Sebastián, where the main focus of the workshop was communication flows in the energy and telecommunication security sector, particularly in emergency situations. The next launch of tools testing will take place in Glasgow. The other four project cities – Bristol (UK), Vejle (Denmark), Rome (Italy) and Riga (Latvia) – will closely observe the testing process and learn alongside the pilot cities.

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Stakeholder mapping and launch of tools testing in Donostia

14 April 2016

Smart Mature Resilience launched the pilot implementation of its tools in partner city of Donostia/San Sebastián on Wednesday 13 April at a kick-off workshop in the host institution of Tecnun.

Following introductions by the city on why resilience is a priority for Donostia and what the city plans to achieve through participation in the SMR project, the group shared the latest updates on the five tools that are to make up the Resilience Management Guideline: the Resilience Maturity Model, the Systemic Risk Assessment Questionnaire, the Portfolio of Resilience Building Policies, the System Dynamics Model and the Resilience Engagement and Communication Tool. Starting from the kick-off meetings in the three partner cities, these tools will be evaluated according to observation in a collaborative process of co-creation between project researchers and cities.

At the workshop on 13 April 2016, the scientific partners and partner cities got straight down to the business of stakeholder mapping: first, identifying and understanding which key actors and parties are most relevant to day-to-day operations in the energy and telecommunication security sector, before defining and analysing how these dynamics and relationships work in the case of an emergency.

Donostia/San Sebastián and SMR’s research partners are now ready to begin work on the pilot tools testing phase of the project. To read more about Donostia/San Sebastián as an SMR partner city, please click here.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.