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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].


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.


SMR project presented in Seville and San Sebastián

7 April 2016

Project coordinator Professor José María Sarriegi hosted two presentations on the Smart Mature Resilience Project in March 2016, providing insights into the projects progress to participants of the Internal Seminars program of the Management and Marketing Department of the University Pablo de Olavide (UPO) and Industrial Management Engineering students of the University of Navarra (TECNUN).

The seminars addressed the issue of how all cities are vulnerable to crisis, from small incidents, such as water and electricity shortages, to more severe crises such as floods or earthquakes that generate high economic impacts and loss of life. The consequences of these crises depend on the preparation and the response level of the cities to address these crises.


Launch of Vejle’s Resilience Strategy

8 February 2016

Vejle has since early 2014 been investigating the man-made and natural challenges and risks it faces to ensure the city’s future resilience against risks. Its areas of particular focus are climate and flooding, co-creation, social resilience and developing a ‘smart’ city.

For the past year, Vejle’s Chief Resilience Officer, Jonas Koustrup, has worked in cooperation with the Rockefeller Foundation, Vejle’s strategy partner ARUP and all stakeholders in the city to prepare a resilience strategy. This will be presented to the City Council for approval next month.

The strategy will be launched on March 17, 2016, at the Munkebjerg Hotel. This will be attended by ambassadors, ministers and politicians from across the country, international city and municipal representatives, 100 Resilient Cities representatives and stakeholders from Vejle; businesspeople, NGOs and other organizations.

Likewise, during the week of the launch, a “Resilience Festival” will be held across the entire city with a programme of resilience-related activities and events to celebrate all things ‘resilience’.

Read more about Vejle.


SMR researcher awarded Best Paper at HICSS49

19 January 2016

Dr Mihoko Sakurai, postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Integrated emergency Management (CIEM), University of Agder, Norway, got the best paper award at the Electronic Government track of Hawai’i International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-49) for the paper “How do organizational processes recover following a disaster? – A capital resiliency model for disaster preparedness”.

The paper was presented in the Resilience Against Crises and Disaster minitrack chaired by Prof. Jose J. Gonzalez, Elsa Negre and Emma Spiro. Mihoko is the leading author in the paper (co-authors Richard Watson, University of Georgia, US, and Jiro Kokuryo, Keio University, Japan).

Mihoko Sakurai joined the Smart Mature Resilience project 1 September 2015.

Click here to access the paper.


Jose J. Gonzalez presents SMR at CTG, Albany, New York

11 January 2016

Prof. Dr. Jose J. Gonzalez presented the SMR project in Center for Technology in Government (CTG) on 11 January 2016. CTG is a research institution as part of the University at Albany, New York, USA, focusing on the development of innovative solutions to help governments better provide public services through technology. Through applied research and partnerships, projects are undertaken that address the policy, management, and technology dimensions of information use in the public sector.

People in the photo (from left to right) Meghan Cook (CTG Program Director), C. Brian Burke (CTG Managing Director), Theresa Pardo (CTG Center Director), J. Ramon Gil-Garcia (CTG Research Director), Jose Julio Gonzalez, Prof. David Andersen (Rockefeller College, University at Albany), Megan Sutherland (CTG Program Associate), Luis Felipe Luna-Reyes (CTG Faculty Fellow) and Associate Professor Eliot Rich (University at Albany School of Business).


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


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.


Research Council of Norway

22 September 2015

An article on the Smart Mature Resilience project was published in the Research News of the RCN, particularly focussing of the close involvement of the Tier 1 project CITY of Kristiansand and the Partner University of Agder. The full article (only available in Norwegian) is available to read via the below link.

Click here to read the full article.


European Commission-funded Projects on Resilience

15 September 2015

Representatives of the five successful projects funded under the Horizon 2020 call DRS-7-2014 and a resilience project funded under FP7 met in Brussels to develop a framework of cooperation and communication. Representatives of the Horizon 2020 funded projects, Smart Mature Resilience, DARWIN, IMPROVER, RESILENS, RESOLUTE and DRIVER will come together to share results, collaborate and ensure the maximum effectiveness and efficiency of each of these ambitious and innovative research projects.

Representatives of the six projects created a shared strategy and approach for effective collaboration at a multi-project meeting in the Research Executive Agency building in Brussels in September. The projects will also communicate to aid dissemination between and beyond the projects and to develop a cohesive taxonomy of terms to inform a common frame of reference, which will guide future discourse on the topic in general.

More information on the five projects as part of this cooperative are available 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.