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Knowledge-based approach to develop a cULTUre of Risk prevention

Final Report Summary - KULTURISK (Knowledge-based approach to develop a cULTUre of Risk prevention)

The extreme consequences of recent water-related disasters have highlighted that risk prevention still needs to be improved to reduce human losses and economic damages. The KULTURisk project provided a comprehensive demonstration of the benefits of prevention measures to support the development of a culture of risk prevention. At first, the project reviewed static and dynamic measures to prevent water-related hazards and risk communication techniques. Then, the KULTURisk project has developed a methodology (Figure 1) to demonstrate the benefits of risk prevention techniques, which are being applied to a variety of case studies characterised by different socio-economic contexts and types of water-related hazards. The method can evaluate the benefits of prevention actions and help stakeholders to better consider the benefits of risk prevention. Two transboundary catchments (the Soca-Isonzo and the Danube) enable the investigation of cross border aspects. The case studies (6 in total), are used to demonstrate not only the benefits of risk prevention, but also the need for a European approach to disaster risk reduction. The KULTURisk research is based on up-to-date techniques and the methodology includes driving factors such as land-use changes, spatial planning and climate change impacts. Lastly, the methodology was used to demonstrate that prevention measures are very effective from a social and economic point of view for different types of water-related risks (e.g. floods, landslides). To promote a culture of risk prevention, KULTURisk pointed the need to: a) increase the risk awareness of the public via improved communication; b) shape risk perception of inhabitants in an appropriate and responsible way; and c) train professionals to better evaluate the socio-economic benefit of risk prevention techniques for water-related risks (more details at

The KULTURisk project aims to promote a culture of risk prevention by evaluating the benefits of different prevention measures. This evaluation is being carried out by developing a novel methodology and referring to different types of water-related catastrophes, such as river inundations, urban floods, storm surges, rainfall triggered debris flows and landslides. To demonstrate the advantages of prevention options, an original methodology was developed and applied to a variety of European case studies, characterized by diverse socio-economic contexts, different types of water-related hazards (floods, debris flows and landslides, storm surges) and spacetime scales: Danube (Many countries, trans-boundary large river basin), Somerset (UK, coastal area), Barcelonnette (France, urban high-land), Carlisle (UK, urban low-land), Zurich (Switzerland, Alpine catchment), and Soča-Isonzo (Slovenia and Italy, trans-boundary small catchment). The KULTURisk project has initially focussed on water-related hazards, as the likelihood and adverse impacts of water-related disasters are expected to increase in the near future because of changes in land-use and/or climate. In the last phase of the project, the applicability of the KULTURisk approach to different types of natural hazards (e.g. earthquakes, forest fires) was also be analysed.

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