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City of Bratislava exchanges with Reykjavik's Experts on Climate Change Adaptation in Iceland

2 October 2017

The capital city of Bratislava participated in the 8th international conference of the Society for Disaster Risk Management "Dimensions of Disaster Risk Reduction and Society Resilience in a Complex World" which took place on 23-25 August, in Reykjavík (Iceland). In addition to the conference, the Office of the Chief Architect represented the RESIN project in a visit the City Hall of Reykjavík in order to meet the city's experts for climate change adaptation, whom they first met during the 1st Knowledge Transfer Workshop organised by ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability in Bratislava on 12-13 June 2017.

Among the main topics of the conference were the increase in natural disasters due to climate change such as drought, floods, forest fires and overheating of the urban environment, which also resonate with Central Europe and Bratislava. The city of Bratislava presented outputs from several projects that are related to climate change risk. One of the contributions focused on Bratislava´s experience in the RESIN project, which was prepared together with Faculty of Natural Sciences of the UK in Bratislava and Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems in Germany. The aim was to provide insight on how tools for reducing climate change risks and impacts are developed by researchers and later tested and used by the four city partners in the project. In Bratislava city, these tools are tested and in order to be finally used in urban planning, adaptation planning and decision making, which is in the project referred to as the process of co-creation. The presentation summed up the lessons learned from RESIN and from practical work on the side of implementation of blue and green adaptation measures. The take-home message for Bratislava from this conference is that adaptation planning goes beyond building green and blue infrastructure and should also encompass the planning of preparedness for climate change hazards and minimising the risk they impose for health of citizens but also damage or loss to property, with a special focus on awareness raising and communication in risk management.

Thanks to the cooperation as part of the RESIN project among 1-tier and 2-tier cities, it was possible to meet the representatives of Reykjavík City hall, who also participated in the 1st Knowledge Transfer Workshop and exchange experience with the implementation of adaptation measures in a dynamically changing urban environment that has to withstand the adverse impacts of climate change, such as heavy rainfall and other extreme weather events. In Reykjavik, this problem is solved by diverting water from roads and other impermeable areas to areas that are covered with vegetation or wetlands. Despite the fact that Iceland uses almost exclusively renewable energy (geothermal and water) to meet its energy needs, Reykjavik plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions also by revitalizing wetlands and urban greenery, including its woody component, which can absorb most greenhouse gases. An example of such a wetland is the Vatnsmýrin, which was revitalized on the territory of the city near the University of Iceland and includes an educational walkway that brings its significance closer to visitors and residents of the city.

Like Reykjavik, the capital city of Bratislava is balancing the need for urban development and densification with pleasant and safe urban environment for living. For Bratislava, this mostly concerns reintroducing green areas into the city, which would make the city's microclimate more pleasant during heatwaves and help prevent damage after extremely heavy rainfall. Pilot projects of such adaptation measures have been carried out within the framework of the "Bratislava is preparing for climate change" project, financed by the EEA grants and Norways Grants (project duration 2014-2017).

"Bratislava has had an active approach in adaption to climate change and protecting drinking water resources. Through the presentation of individual projects, it will be possible to continue to cooperate in the future and to establish contacts with foreign partners in implementing concrete measures to increase the adaptation of cities to climate change," said Ingrid Konrad, Chief Architect, City of Bratislava.


Strathclyde team wins ‘best presentation’ award

29 September 2017

Strath-Wide was a one-day conference which aimed to bring together researchers from all disciplines to share their research and find out what other researchers are doing across the University. The plenary talk was given by Professor Gerardo Adesso from the University of Nottingham about his own research path and experience of difficulties turned into successes. Additionally, there was opportunities to network with other research staff, keynote talks by invited members of University staff and prizes for the best presentations.

Abstracts were accepted for oral or poster presentations and grouped according to the University’s new strategic themes and awards were presented for each theme plus a poster prize at the conclusion of the conference. The Smart Mature Resilience team was awarded under the "Society and Policy" topical areas.

The presentation was authored by Igor Pyrko, Susan Howick, and Colin Eden, and it was titled ‘Smart Mature Resilience’ – in this presentation we described the aims of the project, whilst focussing in particular on the construction of the Risk Systemicity Questionnaire. The presentation was awarded as part of the ‘Policy and Society’ strategic theme of the University of Strathclyde.


Standardizing resilience: two new CEN workshops will kick off in Thessaloniki in November

25 September 2017

Resilience depends on cooperation between cities, communities and regions and strengthening collaboration and cross-sectoral cooperation. Institutional and cultural differences can create barriers and impediments to holistic cooperation between departments in different municipalities.

The SMR project is undertaking preparatory work towards standardization to address these challenges. CEN workshop 88 is already underway, which establishes functional specifications for a Resilience Information Portal.

On 8th November 2017, two further CEN workshops will be kicked off, focusing on standardized approaches to resilience strategy and management. The CEN Workshop on 'City Resilience Development - Operational Guidance will develop a CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA), which will define an operational framework that provides guidance and aims at training and supporting municipalities and their stakeholders. More information is available on the SMR website.

The CEN Workshop on 'City Resilience Development - Maturity Model' will develop a CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA) defining a framework to show the ideal path in the resilience building process of a city. This framework will be based on maturity stages a city should go through. The standard is targeted to policy and decision makers at city level and councilors working for resilience in their city, as well as to any other city stakeholders working on resilience (e.g. critical infrastructure providers, emergency services, citizens, media, non-governmental organizations, academic and research institutions). To participate in the standardization processes, please contact To join the standardization processes, please contact More information is available on the SMR website.


Strathclyde team wins Springer Best Paper Award at Stuttgart Group Decision and Negotiation conference

4 September 2017

The Smart Mature Resilience team from the University of Strathclyde was awarded "Best Paper" at the Group Decision and Negotiation conference in Stuttgart from 14-18 August 2017, a major international management science and group decision conference. The awarded paper was authored by Colin Eden, Igor Pyrko, and Susan Howick and is entitled ‘Knowledge Acquisition Using Group Support Systems’. The paper describes the work undertaken to gather data for the construction of the Risk Systemicity Quesionnaire (RSQ) as part of the SMR project, which involved a new approach for using a Group Support System for research.

The paper reports on the use of a Group Support System (GSS) to acquire vast knowledge from city participants in seven European cities with respect to the interactions between risk events faced by the cities. Data collection took part during three workshops conducted as part of the Smart Mature Resilience project funded by the H2020 programme, and it was concerned with topics related to critical infrastructure, social dynamics, and climate change. The aim of data collection was to inform the construction of a Risk Systemicity Questionnaire (RSQ) which is an interactive tool designed to support cities in improving their resilience.

A series of GSS workshops was organized in which participants co-created the risk scenarios that formed the main content of the tool. While GSS have been previously used successfully to improve the productivity of team meetings, its use for acquisition of vast knowledge is under-researched. This paper presents an approach to using a GSS to inform specific research questions rather than to develop new solutions which participants can take ownership of and implement immediately in their work. In turn, the use of GSS in such non-traditional context poses a number of important methodological considerations of which GSS facilitators should be aware.

Firstly, the GSS provides an advantage of acquiring vast knowledge efficiently and significantly quicker than gaining evidence from literature. It may be argued that evidence from literature provides more accurate data, however, the GSS data can be validated incrementally as the data is analysed and used. Secondly, when GSS is applied to acquire vast knowledge in a relatively short amount of time, unlike traditional uses of the GSS, there is a tension between speed and efficiency and building group ownership versus validation of the knowledge acquired. However, when busy experts are involved, efficient knowledge acquisition may be the only realistic approach for conducting the research. And thirdly, this paper presents an argument that experts’ collaboration and communication within a GSS-facilitated workshop can be a more effective way of preparation for future risks rather than exclusively relying on past events.

The full paper is available in the conference proceedings on the GDN website.


Launch of SMR Tier 3 in Thessaloniki, Greece

24 August 2017

Three new cities: Reykjavik (Iceland), Malaga (Spain)and Stirling (United Kingdom) have joined the Smart Mature Resilience project's Tier 3. These cities will be the first project-external cities to receive tailored access to the project's five tools: the Maturity Model, Risk Systemicity Questionnaire, Resilience Information Portal, Policy Tool and Simulation Model.

The first in-person meeting of the new project cities (further cities to be announced) with the SMR project cities will take place on 7th November in Thessaloniki, Greece. Registration for this event has now opened and more information is available at


Second joint resilience newsletter

1 August 2017

The second collaborative newsletter between European projects working on resilience is out now! In this issue: 1) Smart Mature Resilience Project: Online Maturity Model launched, 2) DARWIN Project: Join the DARWIN Community of Practitioners, 3) RESILENS Project: Realising European Resilience for Critical Infrastructure, 4) Improver Project: Register now for our next workshop on the 21st September, 5) SMR invites cities to Thessaloniki workshop on strategic resilience planning, 6) Smart Mature Resilience project: Hear from the SMR cities.

To read the newsletter, click here.


RESIN Newsletter Issue 6

31 July 2017

We are happy to share the sixth issue of the RESIN newsletter with

you. In this edition:

1) About RESIN: Video introduction to the RESIN project with

coordinator Peter Bosch, Tecnalia researcher EfrÉn Feliu and Deputy

Mayor of Bilbao Alfonso Gil

2) Open European Day: The RESIN project co-organized a successful

Open European Day at Bonn Resilient Cities

3) Spotlight on RESIN Tier 2 cities: Nijmegen and Radom

4) Research news: Development of the E-Guide

5) City news: Greater Manchester continues to engage with partners on

climate resilience and the RESIN project

6) Research news: Standardization

7) Co-creation news: Bratislava and vulnerability assessment

8) Related projects: New page on the RESIN website

9) Upcoming events

To read the RESIN newsletter, click here.


Bratislava is adapting to climate change

28 July 2017

The Slovakian capital of Bratislava is fast becoming a climate change adaptation champion for its local region. Through the RESIN project, Bratislava has begun to take an active role in developing and testing tools for adaptation planning. Specific conditions in Bratislava, such as climate change impacts, drivers, stressors and adaptation options, call for tailored outputs and tools, and the city is an active contributor to producing these resources. Crucial to the development process is the close relationship between cities: pilot cities in RESIN work closely together to share their experience and to share this with a wider circle of Tier 2 cities.

Such a city exchange took place as a knowledge transfer workshop held last month in Bratislava. The cities of Greater Manchester and Bratislava in collaboration with TNO, Tecnalia, Frauenhofer and ICLEI welcomed representatives of 10 RESIN Tier 2 cities to Bratislava from 13-14 June 2017. City governments and representatives from Ghent, Lahti, Covasna, Burgas, Reykjavik, Sfantu Gheorghe, Vilnius, Radom, Nijmegen and Newcastle met their Tier 1 partners in Bratislava for a 2-day knowledge transfer workshop at Faculty of Natural Sciences, Mlynská dolina, Bratislava.

During the workshop, the cities provided feedback on the RESIN vulnerability and risk assessment tool, IVAVIA. Bratislava has already developed two impact chains for “Health and wellbeing of the urban population” and “Green infrastructure” and has previously carried out vulnerability assessment. The city stakeholders were able to draw from this experience to provide tool developers with feedback on the prototype IVAVIA. Bratislava has been closely involved in the vulnerability analysis process and assessment of climate change risks. Through regular Skype meetings with RESIN research partner, Fraunhofer, the city is focusing on the process of involving stakeholders and collecting data.

Mapping and understanding vulnerability and risk is becoming increasingly important to Bratislava. The city has been facing a rapid increase in tropical nights with maximum temperatures of over 20 degrees Celsius. These hot nights have boomed in number from less than 5 in 1990 to 48 hot nights in 2013, and the trend is increasing every year. Thermovisual scanning clearly shows the benefit of green spaces and urban water features for cooling down urban areas and controlling these extreme nighttime temperatures. Local measures for adapting to this new climate reality such as green and blue infrastructure will be essential if Bratislava’s citizens are to get a good night’s sleep.

Bratislava became a pilot project of RESIN: Climate Resilient Cities and Infrastructures in 2015. Since then, it has also joined the core group of cities supporting the new Urban Water Agenda and hosted Bremen (Germany) and Arnhem (Netherlands) as part of the Mayors Adapt City Twinning Programme. In April 2017, the City parliament endorsed the “Action Plan for adaptation to climate change in Bratislava.”

The city’s next ambition is to support the usage of RESIN outputs and tools through translation into Slovak, to raise awareness of the benefits of climate change adaptation through boosting communication and stakeholder involvement, and finally, Bratislava aims to gain political commitment in order to be able to implement the results of the vulnerability assessment in the city’s master plan and urban development scenarios.

Read the full article


SMR invites cities to Thessaloniki workshop on strategic resilience planning

18 July 2017

The SMR project has been working for just over two years to develop a suite of tools to help cities enhance their resilience. These tools have been developed in close cooperation between seven partner cities of Glasgow, San Sebastian, Kristiansand, Rome, Riga, Bristol and Vejle, SMR's four university partners, ICLEI Europe and standardization body DIN.

The cities have been working with researchers to develop five strategic support and discussion formats that the cities are using to identify and select policies they should implement to address weaknesses in their resilience management, to develop long-term resilience strategies as well as structures for cross-departmental cooperation outside of the usual 'silos'.

Now that the tools are being finalised, they will be shared with a wider group of cities at a Stakeholder Dialogue event in Thessaloniki, Greece. Three tools are already available to cities: the Resilience Maturity Model, Risk Systemicity Questionnaire and Resilience Engagement and Communication Tool. Two further tools: a System Dynamics Model and a collection of Resilience Policies will be completed before the event.

Registration for the Stakeholder Dialogue will open soon. For more information, please contact


Study reveals heat waves in cities will increase tenfold from 2081-2100

4 July 2017

Many European cities are experiencing extremely high temperatures this summer – a trend that municipalities are accepting will continue. According to findings by RAMSES researchers, there will be 10 times more heat wave days from 2081-2100, reaching nearly 30 heat wave days per year on average.

A study by RAMSES related to the 2003 heat wave in France found that while heat waves coincided with an increase in deaths in small towns, Paris, as a major city, suffered nearly three times the number of additional deaths during heat waves.

Why do cities tend to be warmer than their rural surroundings? Firstly, there are more buildings and soil sealing: buildings store heat during the day and release them at night. Walls cause additional radiation as they reflect the sun’s rays and reduce ventilation in narrow streets. Secondly, cities cool less due to less vegetation in city centres causing lower evaporation levels. Thirdly, humans create additional heat, such as through vehicle exhaust. The maps produced following a study in Antwerp and 101 other European cities show where in cities the highest temperatures are occurring and which areas should be prioritised for adaptation measures.

The project found that a typical western European city has a mean temperature difference at midnight of around 4oC . City temperatures on hot summer nights are 8oC -10oC higher than rural areas, as a result of less ventilation and higher populations. The RAMSES project is now completing its fifth year working with cities to promote adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development. The project is currently holding a series of free webinars, which will continue on 13 July.

For more information and to register, click here.

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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.