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SMR NEWS

Cities and scientists co-create interactive simulation game on first day of SMR Glasgow workshop

17 May 2017

Glasgow City Council welcomed project partners, project cities and local stakeholders to the Lighthouse, Glasgow this morning for the first day of the Smart Mature Resilience project’s review workshop. During the morning session, the partners built on progress made at the project’s recent workshop, where European cities and a group of projects focusing on related topics met to compare tool development and discuss the optimal conditions for developing possible standards for resilience management in cities.

The SMR project is developing a Resilience Management Guideline supported by five tools, which provides a pathway to lead cities towards a more resilient future. Each tool serves a complementary purpose. The Resilience Maturity Model helps cities to identify their level of resilience maturity and helps them to identify policies that would be helpful measures towards resilience-building. The Risk Systemicity Questionnaire can bring together diverse stakeholders in a city to better understand their awareness of risk and the interrelatedness of risk. The Resilience Information Portal can provide useful software to cities, which they can use to make their communication system more resilient.

During the workshop in Glasgow, cities and scientific partners worked closely together to continue co-development of the System Dynamics Model, which is a game-like online learning tool to help strategic managers and other stakeholders involved in budgeting and strategic planning for resilience in cities identify and decide the most efficient and most strategically accurate policies to implement, and the order in which to do this.

The tool functions with an interactive interface, where users input a symbolic budget for resilience development and adjust the proportional investment in different areas regarding resilience for their city. The user can then run simulations of the effects of prioritizing investment in different areas in different order, using the tool as a kind of playground to trial methods of policy prioritization in a safe environment. Intensive collaborative sessions and exercises with TECNUN, University of Navarra and CIEM, University of Agder collected input from the SMR cities of Glasgow, Kristiansand, Donostia, Vejle, Rome, Riga and Bristol to validate the tool and ensure that it is an ideal format for immediate application and use by cities.

A further tool for Resilience Policies will then provide information, examples and case studies of the policies identified through the Resilience Maturity Model and the System Dynamics Model. The workshop will continue tomorrow with sessions hosted by the University of Strathclyde to work with cities on co-developing this tool.

Impressions of the first day are available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/iclei_europe/sets/72157683833382116/with/34331508890/. You can find out more about Glasgow and SMR at http://smr-project.eu/glasgow/.

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

Glasgow places people and communities at heart of resilience strategy

5 October 2016

People and communities are the key component of a new strategy intended to build ICLEI Member City Glasgow’s (UK) resilience against the impact of the shocks and stresses faced by a city in the 21st century. The “Resilient Glasgow” Strategy details 50 different actions intended to create a stronger and more adaptable city.

Based on a detailed conversation with 3,500 Glasgow-residents, the strategy is the first of its kind to be released in the UK. It focuses on issues such as economic growth, tackling inequality, enhancing partnerships at all levels, delivering services around the needs of citizens, and building capacity for resilience among the city’s population.

Glasgow is a core city of the Smart Mature Resilience (SMR) project, which aims to support city decision-makers in developing and implementing resilience measures in their cities. As part of the project, Glasgow and its local research partner, the University of Strathclyde, are working closely together on co-creating and testing the project's tools, with a particular focus in Glasgow's case on building resilience against flood risk. Tier 2 cities of Rome (Italy) and Riga (Latvia) are observing Glasgow's progress and providing feedback, which will ensure that the final tools are widely replicable and applicable to all cities in Europe.

For more information, visit the Smart Mature Resilience website.

SMR NEWS

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.

SMR NEWS

Pilot tools testing launches at Glasgow kick-off workshop

29 August 2016

Smart Mature Resilience project partners met with over 30 local stakeholders, principally from the water sector and emergency services, on 3rd June 2016 to launch the tools testing phase for SMR core city of Glasgow.

Workshop organizers ICLEI Europe supported by the University of Strathclyde, hosts Glasgow City Council, project coordinators TECNUN and standardization partner DIN met with a group of the city’s most crucial stakeholders in ensuring Glasgow’s resilience against flood risk and crisis situations: SEPA, Scottish Water, Fire Scotland, Scottish Ambulance, Police Scotland, New Gorbals Housing Association, Wheatley Group, National Centre for Resilience, the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, Cordia and Sustainable Glasgow.

Project partners presented the key concepts of the SMR project and its resilience tools, which the project is co-creating in cooperation with project cities to form a Resilience Management Guideline. The contributions, opinions and experience of local first responders, critical infrastructure institutions and most importantly, Glasgow City Council, are essential to the development of these tools. While the tools are developed by experts with access to the latest scientific research and technology, local stakeholders’ input ensures that the tools are targeted at addressing the most prevalent and pressing issues facing Glasgow and its citizens. In Glasgow’s case, one of the most urgent challenges and top priorities is the risk of flooding.

As part of the workshop, the city, project partners and local stakeholders analysed and defined Glasgow’s key resilience challenges and practices in relation to water and the flooding security sector. In Scotland, flood risk is managed in accordance with the national Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009, which includes policy specific to the local context as well as creating a joined-up and coordinated process to manage flood risk at a national and local level. The regional Climate Ready Clyde initiative sets out a shared vision for a resilient city region through collaboration between neighbouring local authorities and agencies.

To explore how the city would currently react to a water-related crisis and to gather data for development of the SMR tools, the stakeholders and city partners considered a number of flood scenarios and designed theoretical responses in order to minimize distruption to the city.

Read more about Glasgow

RELATED NEWS

Glasgow invests in development of new urban Nature Park

11 August 2016

ICLEI Member City Glasgow (UK) is set to create Scotland’s largest urban heritage and Nature Park, investing £6.8 million to create a green area that will encompass 16km² of lochs (lakes), parks, nature reserves and woodlands. The project will also see the development of walking and cycling routes and improvements to paths and signage within the park, allowing people to better experience the natural and cultural heritage of the area.

"The Seven Lochs Wetland Park is an exemplar of Green Network planning and delivery. It is a place with an abundance of natural resources; important natural habitats, historic sites and established places for recreation. This major new urban wildlife park will be the jewel in the crown of the wider Green Network and bring a host of benefits for local people and visitors alike,” said Max Hislop, Programme Manager for the Glasgow & Clyde Valley Green Network Partnership.

Glasgow is a core city of Smart Mature Resilience, a multi-disciplinary research project working for more resilient cities in Europe. The city works closely together with scientists to develop Glasgow’s resilience against hazards and challenges brought on by climate change. Glasgow is particularly working on addressing flood risk management, water issues and drainage. Urban wildlife areas provide cities with a wide variety of environmental, social and economic benefits. Making the most of the park to meet, learn and exercise together will help to strengthen communities and improve Glaswegians’ health. The natural wetlands and open green spaces can also help to absorb excess water in the case of flooding, taking Glasgow a step further on its path towards resilience.

For more information, visit sevenlochs.org.

RELATED NEWS

Glasgow adds solar panels to schools

6 June 2016

ICLEI Member Glasgow (United Kingdom) is cutting emissions while saving money through installing solar technology on a number of its schools. The move is part of the council's Energy & Carbon Masterplan, which has identified 33 actions that would help Glasgow to achieve its carbon emissions reduction target of 30 percent by 2020.

The installation will provide a saving of £60,000 per year over 13 years due to a Feed-in Tariffs scheme which encourages the uptake of a range of small-scale renewable and low-carbon electricity generation technologies. The amount of carbon saved will be around 130 tons annually.

The leader of Glasgow City Council and chair of Sustainable Glasgow, Councillor Frank McAveety said: “By saving money on our electricity we can ensure more money is going to frontline services. This is Sustainable Glasgow in action. We are using the potential in greener technologies, like these solar panels on schools, to not only cut our emissions but also our energy bills.”

For further information, visit Glasgow.gov.uk.

SMR NEWS

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.

For more information, visit smr-project.eu.

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

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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.