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SMR NEWS

8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns

3 May 2016

The Smart Mature Resilience project contributed to the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns, held from 27-29 April in Bilbao, Spain. The core project city of Donostia/San Sebastián played a prominent role in the conference, which was organised by ICLEI - Local Environments for Sustainability alongside several Basque partners.

Eneko Goia, Mayor of San Sebastián in an interview with media at the conference, emphasised the importance of building the city's resilience, noted the value in the city's participation in the Smart Mature Resilience project as part of this process, while emphasising the effectiveness of cooperating with other cities in Europe to solve common challenges together.

Tecnun and ICLEI presented the project as part of the Innovation Market on the second day of the conference, at which over 800 representatives of local and regional government, European and international institutions, multilateral organisations, members of the research community, business leaders, and civil society participated.

RELATED NEWS

Rome mainstreams low carbon procurement practices

25 April 2016

The Metropolitan Area of Rome has been busy! It has published a pricing list for sustainable construction materials, based on analysis of availability, and introduced a new GPP monitoring system, the first of its kind in Italy.

Price list for green public works

In Italy public works are estimated on the basis of regional price lists. The Metropolitan City of Rome, in response to the challenges of lack of information on local market readiness and costs when introducing environmental criteria into public works tenders, carried out a detailed analysis on the availability of low environmental impact construction materials at national and regional level.

The Metropolitan City approved a new price list based on the results of this analysis to be adopted as reference for public works. The price list was published online, on the institutional web site, and disseminated trough workshops both at internal and local level.

For information, please visit the Metropolitan Area of Rome website.

A new GPP monitoring system

The GPP Action Plan of the Province of Rome was approved in 2009. After the first period of implementation, the Action Plan was updated in 2014 and extended to new product categories. GPP progress and results were monitored every two years (2009/2010, 2011/2012, 2013/2014). In 2016, the Metropolitan City of Rome has introduced a new GPP monitoring system that will allow for a punctual assessment on the achievement of GPP objectives and for the collection of basic info for monitoring CO2 savings also in the future, after the project end.

The Metropolitan City of Rome is the first public authority in Italy to introduce this innovative monitoring system which is linked to the public procurement electronic information system. It will allow to elaborate and publish data according to different criteria such as date, product categories, purchasing departments and volume of the contracts.

SMR NEWS

SMR project pilots new tools to enhance resilience to climate change

19 April 2016

The Smart Mature Resilience (SMR) project launched the pilot implementation of its tools in partner city Donostia/San Sebastián, Basque Country (Spain) on 13 April 2016 at a kick-off workshop in the project host institution of Tecnun, University of Navarra. According to Diario de Noticias de Gipuzkoa, Mayor of San Sebastián Eneko Goia opened the meeting, noting that San Sebastián faces “two risks associated with the global phenomenon of climate change that test the resilience of the city itself: these are the sea and the river.”

He further noted the importance of the event in Tecnun, as it marks the launch of the testing phase of the SMR project's pilot tools, which aim to enhance cities’ capacity to resist, absorb and recover from the hazardous effects of climate change. SMR researchers work with the project partner cities of San Sebastián, Glasgow (UK) and Kristiansand (Norway) to develop tools to assess and develop cities’ resilience. Together, they develop and pilot tools in these three core cities. The tools are then reviewed and evaluated by researchers and by a group of four other partner cities. It is foreseen that they will be spread to cities in Europe and beyond.

The testing process was launched in February 2016 in Kristiansand with a workshop focusing on water, and continued in San Sebastián, where the main focus of the workshop was communication flows in the energy and telecommunication security sector, particularly in emergency situations. The next launch of tools testing will take place in Glasgow. The other four project cities – Bristol (UK), Vejle (Denmark), Rome (Italy) and Riga (Latvia) – will closely observe the testing process and learn alongside the pilot cities.

For more information, visit smr-project.eu.

SMR NEWS

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].

SMR NEWS

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 NEWS

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.

RELATED NEWS

GREEN SURGE to hold forum on public-private partnerships for greener cities

16 March 2016

Urban green infrastructure decision-makers, researchers and private sector stakeholders will come together in Bilbao (Spain) to explore local government strategies of partnering with private sector actors to lead urban development down a greener path.

This topic follows on from recent research conducted by the Green Surge project into successful ways of making public and private interests work together. Amongst others, ICLEI has invited the City of Aarhus (Denmark) and the Greater London Authority (UK) to showcase how they cooperate with private actors to green their cities. Aarhus partnered with private stakeholders, particularly farmers and gardeners, as part of their strategy to protect groundwater from pesticides. One of the measures taken was to afforest the area, establishing new outdoor recreational areas, protecting the natural environment and boosting biodiversity. The Greater London Authority has been partnering with businesses regularly and strategically (e.g. Wild West End) to achieve its vision of a National Park City and to address London’s environmental and societal challenges.

The Stakeholder Dialogue Forum will be held in Bizkaia Aretoa, Bilbao (Spain) from 14.00 to 18.00 on 26 April 2016 and is free of charge. The Forum is a pre-event to the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns for which Stakeholder Forum participants benefit from a reduced registration fee. Registration for the Stakeholder Dialogue Forum can be completed online.

For more information, click here or contact greensurge@iclei.org.

RELATED NEWS

European Open Day at Bonn Resilient Cities launched for 2016

22 February 2016

The EEA and ICLEI have joined forces again this year to organise the 3rd Open European Day (OED), the one-day European-focused event for climate adaptation practitioners, taking place on the 5th July, back-to-back with Resilient Cities 2016 in Bonn (Germany). The Open European Day is supported by the RESIN and Placard projects.

The event will follow the successful format of previous editions, where climate adaptation practitioners representing cities from “beginner” to “trailblazer” and key adaptation players will exchange valuable experience in an open and interactive setting. Institutions supporting urban adaptation development and scientists in the field will also contribute to addressing key questions raised by city representatives.

The thematic focus of this year’s edition will include climate services, nature-based solutions and how to mainstream adaptation. Financing adaptation will also be a topic of recurring consideration throughout the event. Participation is free of charge.

For more information, visit the Open European Day webpage.

SMR NEWS

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.

RELATED NEWS

RESIN focuses on adaptation as Greater Manchester experiences flood damage

4 February 2016

UK and Irish cities experienced record levels of rainfall in December 2015, bringing the question of critical infrastructure protection and city resilience to the top of the agenda for local and national governments across the region. Around 16,000 properties were flooded in the UK in December while 20,000 properties were protected by flood defences. Greater Manchester was particularly affected by Storm Eva, with 68.2mm of rain falling between 25 and 27 December. Two footbridges were washed away, one carrying a low pressure gas main, which subsequently exploded, leaving a number of homes without gas. Damage to infrastructure is likely to be in excess of £10 million.

Greater Manchester, as part of its role in the RESIN project, is working with RESIN research partner the University of Manchester to carry out a comprehensive city assessment in terms of climate change adaptation and resilience. The RESIN partnership between cities and scientists is an ideal opportunity for effective research into threats to infrastructure and for producing practical solutions that cities themselves have helped to create.

In November 2015, the University of Manchester produced a RESIN analysis of the hazards facing European cities arising from climate change. Primary causes were identified as sea level rise, flooding, heat-waves and drought. The study looks at how an area’s socio-economic and infrastructural characteristics can turn a climate event into a climate hazard. Crucially, this sheds light on which elements of climate-change related hazards can be controllable, allowing cities to adapt to a changing climate.

For more information, click 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.