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H2020

RESIN Report Summary

Project ID: 653522

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RESIN (Climate Resilient Cities and Infrastructures)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2016-04-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

RESIN is a Research and Innovation Action funded under call H2020-DRS09-2014, focusing on the integration of critical infrastructure within the overall adaptation of cities to climate change in Europe. It brings together 17 partners from 8 different European countries, experienced in urban resilience and climate change, and combines theory (knowledge institutes/universities) with practice (cities, consultancies, network organisation, standardisation institute).
The overall aim of the RESIN project is to develop standardised approaches to increase the resilience of Europe’s cities and urban areas to extreme weather and climate change. RESIN has a specific focus on ensuring that critical infrastructures are better integrated into this process. This will be achieved by developing tools and methodologies that not only support well-informed urban planning and decision making, but also encourage the market deployment of innovative climate adaptation and resilience technologies.
The heart of the RESIN approach lies in the close collaboration and co-production of the project results between research institutes and end users, in order to support cities and stakeholders in cities in getting better prepared for the challenges and risks of climate change.

In order to meet its aims RESIN will:
• link existing approaches for climate change adaptation and disaster risk management to develop an overall approach for the various elements of the urban system: critical infrastructures, built-up areas and public spaces, standardising what can be and needs to be standardised.
• develop a common unifying framework for the adaptation decision making process, with associated methods, tools and datasets created to support decision-making at appropriate stages.
• provide a conceptual and methodological framework that consists of standardised methods for assessing impacts of climate change and associated vulnerabilities and risks, with an inventory of potential adaptation measures and standardised methods for prioritising between these adaptation measures.
• building on these ‘technical’ instruments, the framework will also address the governance of the adaptation planning process, aiming at the involvement of different stakeholders for robust optimisation of efforts, and monitoring agreed actions and their effects for feedback and further guidance.
• on this broad basis, develop on-line decision support tools and guidance to support the formulation of adaptation strategies by administrations and private stakeholders, such as infrastructure network managers. The decision support system will bring together resources developed within the RESIN project. The decision support system will provide, within a generic structure of the decision making process, for adaptation and disaster resilience planning, on-line tool(s) assessing risk and vulnerability and selecting between adaptation options under conditions of uncertainty in a complex and dynamic urban setting.
• ensure that all deliverables can be applied in practice through extensive consultation and co-development using real life situations in cities.
• work with a European Standardisation organisation as a partner (NEN) in order to prepare materials that ensure that adaptation to climate change can be progressed in a systematic way, through European standardisation, which will ensure practical applicability and reproducibility.
• and seek alignment with related EU activities, such as EU Climate Adapt, to disseminate and promote the project’s achievements, also beyond the project life time.
This report presents an overview of the work undertaken during the first 12 months of the project lifetime, by the RESIN consortium in order to move forward meeting the planned goals.
In particular the specific objectives – further reported on in this report – for this first project year have been:
1. To provide an analysis of the state-of-the-art of concepts and approaches linked to the RESIN project, (WP1)
2. To define a Conceptual Framework to be used in the RESIN project, (WP1)
3. To start defining an approach to develop climate risk typologies for European cities, (WP1)
4. To start preliminary studies and consultation for the definition of the impact and vulnerability analysis (IVAVIA), (WP2)
5. To develop an inventory of possible adaptation measures, and prepare a database of possible adaptation options (WP3)

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

With a consortium consisting of partners that either were already involved in climate adaptation or in the protection of critical infrastructures (with a focus on disaster risk reduction), the RESIN project started with the production of a series of state-of-the-art reports on topics crucial for the project [D1.1]. Reports dealt with, among other things, the definition of urban critical infrastructure and information availability on critical infrastructures, concepts and definitions on risk and vulnerability, weather and climate hazards facing European cities, risk and vulnerability assessment, prioritization among adaptation options and decision support systems and approaches.
Some of the key observations contained within these reports include:
• the best source for downscaled information on the future climate to feed urban adaptation studies with pan-European coverage is still EUROCORDEX. In addition national scenario information is available for some countries.
• the differences in the use of risk and vulnerability terminology between the climate adaptation community and the disaster risk management community are relatively small. The main difference is in the type of options for action that are considered.
• there is a multitude of guidelines and checklists available for supporting the decision making process on urban adaptation .
• an indicator based approach provides a way forward for harmonized vulnerability assessments. There are also several practical tools available for executing steps in this process, e.g. mapping vulnerability or risk based on indicators. Many of these require, however, very detailed local information (such as a 3d model of a city) and are thus not useful for standardised use in all cities in Europe.
As the IPCC’s 5th assessment report has introduced a terminology for climate risk and vulnerability that deviates from the one used in the 3rd and 4th assessment reports, all of the state-of-the-art reports have devoted significant attention to to clarifying related definitions.
All this exploratory work resulted in the design of a diagram and associated report summarising a conceptual framework for guiding and orienting the RESIN project (figure 1, from D1.2) and a glossary of terms (D1.3) that helps project partners to approach key concepts in a consistent way.

Figure 1: Conceptual framework for the RESIN project.

The RESIN conceptual framework distinguishes (left) the dynamics of a city whereby climate change is one of the risks that decision makers have to deal with by implementing suitable adaptation options, and (right) the decision making process that can be followed to develop these adaptation responses .
The steps in the right hand side of the framework diagram have been used to structure a report on the design of the envisaged decision support tool to be developed in the RESIN project [D6.2]. Ample attention has been given to considerations on the possibilities for future maintenance of the tool.
The risk element of the conceptual diagram has been elaborated in a similar report on the design of the IVAVIA tool (the tool for vulnerability and risk assessment within RESIN). The basis for this will be an updated and amended version of the Vulnerability Sourcebook of the German GIZ, for which a cooperation with the GIZ has been established.
The element of the conceptual framework focused on climate change adaptation options has been taken up by the design of a database for adaptation options and the start of a process to compile existing information on adaptation options. Several partners are currently involved in gathering this information. A simple web-based form is being used for filling the database. Based on the first results, a report is being produced proposing a way forward to arrive at a greater standardisation of the reporting on the effectiveness of individual adaptation options [D3.4]. Some standardisation will be necessary if we want to compare options. It will be especially needed for adaptation options for dealing with urban heat and extreme precipitation.
Motivated by similar goals as the scientific state-of-the-art reports, four reports have also been produced outlining the state of adaptation and the organisation of adaptation decision making in each of the partner cities [D4.1]. These reports appear to be rich sources of information on each of the cities.
In preparation of the first process management workshop with the partner cities a report on actor analysis (D6.1) has been issued. In the workshop (November 2015 in Bratislava) for each of the partner cities a mapping of stakeholders has been made, which are included in the D4.1 city reports.
Whereas the RESIN proposal included four partner cities for, as it was mentioned, “testing” the tools to be developed within the project, the meeting with the Scientific Advisory board in November 2015 changed the position and role of both the partner cities and the workpackages somewhat. Since then the wording and the attitude has changed into “a co-creation process between workpackages and cities” to better align with the current demands of the cities and to produce more applicable results that may be transferable to other European cities. With the four city state of the art reports [D4.1] and the steps in the conceptual framework (right hand side of figure 1) as a starting point the current developments in the four cities have been discussed and on that basis a distribution of the co-creation processes between the cities and the other RESIN WPs has been made (figure 2).

Figure 2: matrix of co-creation processes between cities and workpackages

Although all activities in RESIN have an aspect of creating more harmonisation, we are separately establishing contacts with formal standardisation processes, such as in CEN and ISO. Through international and national (German, Spanish) standardisation organisations we are being informed on the apparent need for formal standardisation. These contacts will be used in the future for feeding the standardisation organisations with our results.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Although quite early in the project to report on impacts, it is worth mentioning the RESIN conceptual framework as a successful attempt to link and visualise in one diagram DPSIR type information representing the physical environment and the steps in the decision making process targeted at addressing physical environment risks and opportunities. For both elements there are several precursors when viewed separately:
-for the physical side there are often linear chains moving from climate threat through vulnerability and risk to adaptation options (Pasztor and Bosch,2011; Fünfgeld & McEvoy,2011, IPCC,2001, 2007)
-for the decision making process often circular diagrams exist with variants of OODA loops (e.g. Wijnmalen et al, 2012; ECA WG,2009; ICLEI,2015; EEA,2012, IPCC,2014).
The visual combination provided by the RESIN Conceptual Framework, however, allows users to communicate the importance that both loops have for each other: Without a proper decision making process there will be no implementation of adaptation in the real world, but the decision making process needs information of risks and possible options for action from the physical world.

A second aspect of beyond state of the art progress is the development of the database of adaptation options and the exploration of possibilities for standardisation of (cost-) effectiveness information. Although in its early stages (the D3.4 report is still being finalized) this report outlines a way forward that will have an impact on research on urban adaptation options in the future.

RESIN’s involvement in formal standardisation processes on the national and international level brings us very close to influencing the state of the art in adaptation standardization.

Related information

Record Number: 190374 / Last updated on: 2016-11-15
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