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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.

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

Group Explorer tool applied in practice at Rome workshop

8 July 2016

The Smart Mature Resilience project partners met in Rome in February 2016 for a workshop on the topic of social problems organised by the University of Strathclyde. The meeting included testing and use of the Group Explorer tool, which has been developed by Strathclyde. In use, the Group Support System allows participants to interact directly with the developing model (shown on a ‘public’ screen) via networked consoles.

The system uses a ‘Transitional Object’, which is a continuously changing causal map on the screen that can be seen by all. It allows anonymity, high levels of productivity, the exploration of consensus and differences of view, and it produces a real-time log of all interactions for exploration off-line.

The meeting was organised by the University of Strathclyde and hosted by the City of Rome. Watch the video about the workshop produced by the City of Rome.

RELATED NEWS

Rome mainstreams low carbon procurement practices

25 April 2016

The Metropolitan Area of Rome has been busy! It has published a pricing list for sustainable construction materials, based on analysis of availability, and introduced a new GPP monitoring system, the first of its kind in Italy.

Price list for green public works

In Italy public works are estimated on the basis of regional price lists. The Metropolitan City of Rome, in response to the challenges of lack of information on local market readiness and costs when introducing environmental criteria into public works tenders, carried out a detailed analysis on the availability of low environmental impact construction materials at national and regional level.

The Metropolitan City approved a new price list based on the results of this analysis to be adopted as reference for public works. The price list was published online, on the institutional web site, and disseminated trough workshops both at internal and local level.

For information, please visit the Metropolitan Area of Rome website.

A new GPP monitoring system

The GPP Action Plan of the Province of Rome was approved in 2009. After the first period of implementation, the Action Plan was updated in 2014 and extended to new product categories. GPP progress and results were monitored every two years (2009/2010, 2011/2012, 2013/2014). In 2016, the Metropolitan City of Rome has introduced a new GPP monitoring system that will allow for a punctual assessment on the achievement of GPP objectives and for the collection of basic info for monitoring CO2 savings also in the future, after the project end.

The Metropolitan City of Rome is the first public authority in Italy to introduce this innovative monitoring system which is linked to the public procurement electronic information system. It will allow to elaborate and publish data according to different criteria such as date, product categories, purchasing departments and volume of the contracts.

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

Rome releases preliminary resilience assessment

18 April 2016

The City of Rome (Italy) has published its preliminary resilience evaluation, which takes stock of the Italian capital’s progress in ensuring resilience to climate change and looks at areas to focus on in the future. The report is based on the City Resilience Framework provided by 100 Resilient Cities. The preliminary evaluation has been carried out by the Resilience Work-Group of Rome, who solicited feedback from stakeholders and citizens through public events and questionnaires.

The report will feed into the development of the “Resilience Rome scenario”, the city’s official resilience strategy, which is due to be published in December 2016. The city has used the opportunity of the strategy redevelopment to promote a remapping of the city’s issues and policies towards resilience.

The document concludes with an outline of the city’s strengths and vulnerabilities. Based on the analysis of the results obtained during the evaluation process, five priority areas have been indentified – territory and connections; people and capacity; resources and human metabolism; systems, nets and heritage; and governance, participation and civic culture.

For more information, visit the project website [in Italian].

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.

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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.