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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.

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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.