Resilient cities in the face of climate change

Climate change has big and long-term impacts on cities. EU-funded research aims to increase resilience, improving cities' capacity to anticipate, prepare for, respond to and recover from related events such as droughts and heavy rain - protecting key infrastructure and lives.

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Bosnia and Herzegovina
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czechia
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Georgia

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Bosnia and Herzegovina
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czechia
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Georgia


  Infocentre

Published: 6 June 2019  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
EnvironmentClimate & global change  |  Urban living
Research policyHorizon 2020
Countries involved in the project described in the article
France  |  Kenya  |  Portugal  |  Spain  |  United Kingdom
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Resilient cities in the face of climate change

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© Zaichenko Olga #70764870, source: stock.adobe.com 2019

Extreme events resulting from climate change present serious problems for urban services including water and energy supply, transport, telecommunications and waste disposal. This can lead to high human and economic costs.

The EU-funded RESCCUE project aims to create an assessment, planning and management framework, adaptation strategies and action plans to make cities more resilient in the face of climate change. This should enable public authorities and utility managers to ensure close coordination between emergency teams and keep residents safe during extreme weather.

The project takes water as its starting point due to the danger of water-related risks to cities. However, cities cannot be understood by focusing on a single sector. RESCCUE thus takes account of different urban services and hazards to develop plans which connect across several areas.

‘RESCCUE will provide innovative models and tools to improve cities’ ability to withstand and recover from multiple shocks and maintain essential services. This will bring economic benefits in terms of avoidance of impacts and better crisis management,’ says project coordinator Pere Malgrat, of Aquatec – SUEZ Advanced Solutions in Spain. ‘All methodologies and tools will be distinguished by their capability to be deployed in different types of city with different climate change pressures.’

Three research sites

Research takes place in three cities – Barcelona, Bristol and Lisbon – each of which faces a variety of challenges. These include coastal, river or pluvial flooding, sewer overflow during storms, and drought. For each city, RESCCUE develops extreme event scenarios and models to help public services prepare.

Adaptation strategies to be tested at each site help avoid risk transfer from one sector to another and increase urban resilience as a whole. An adaptation strategies database will be compiled, with strategies ranked by cost-effectiveness.

Resilience action plans for guaranteeing continuity of services during emergencies will be drawn up based on local partners’ input and project results. Their effectiveness will be tested by simulations.

A global tool

The tools will be integrated into a software platform able to propose risk- and crisis-management measures and help authorities make informed choices. Guidelines will be provided to standardise implementation in different cities.

The platform also includes climate projections – which can be adapted to different places – to help plan for future scenarios, and an adaptation strategies module. It will be further improved by incorporating real-time data, resulting in a resource offering consultancy services to cities worldwide.

For Malgrat, the structure of the consortium will help get the results to market. ‘We have partners representing different disciplines, from universities and research institutes to SMEs, utilities, city councils and UN-Habitat, the UN programme for cities that will help deploy the RESCCUE results in many other urban areas. Each of them enriches the project so that it provides practical solutions to real needs,’ he concludes.

Project details

  • Project acronym: RESCCUE
  • Participants: Spain (Coordinator), France, Kenya, Portugal, UK
  • Project N°: 700174
  • Total costs: € 8 097 190
  • EU contribution: € 6 896 991
  • Duration: May 2016 to April 2020

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