13th RAMSES newsletter

Cities and Climate Conference 2017 – First announcement

September 19th-21st 2017, Potsdam, Germany  

The Cities and Climate Conference 2017 will explore the latest advances in research and practice addressing climate change in cities, including issues of risk management, economics of adaptation, infrastructure, planning, governance, and their possible trade-offs and synergies with mitigation and sustainability objectives.Themes that are covered by the conference are:

  • Climate Impacts on Cities
  • Sustainable Urban Futures
  • Urban Climate Modelling
  • Cities as Driver of Climate Change
  • Urban Transitions and Transformations
  • Urban Adaptation to Climate Change
  • Sustainable Urban Governance and Policies
  • Climate and Health Effects in Cities

Detailed information, e.g. on the abstract submission, can be found at: ccc.ramses-cities.eu

 

Table of contents

I) RAMSES Research News

  • Adaptation Cost Curves - a tool to assist decision-makers in understanding adaptation options in terms of costs and benefits
  • Analysis of indirect impacts and benefits of adaptation to the economy and business supply chains
  • On-going work in RAMSES key case study cities; Antwerp, London, Bilbao

 

II) RAMSES is supporting the 4th Open European Day at Resilient Cities 2017 in Bonn

III) New RAMSES research reports

IV) Latest RAMSES publications

V) RAMSES news

 

I) RAMSES Research

Adaptation Cost Curves - a tool to assist decision-makers in understanding adaptation options in terms of costs and benefits

Adaptation Cost Curves (ACCs) have been proposed as a tool to assist decision-makers in understanding adaptation options in terms of costs and benefits, and they represent a straightforward counterpart to Mitigation Cost Curves (MCCs), already widely discussed in literature. ACCs are obtained by plotting the cost-benefit ratio of different adaptation options as a function of the averted loss (benefit) for each adaptation measure. Therefore, such curves represent a convenient visualization to support the evaluation of adaptation. While MCCs compare different measures with regard to their capability of reducing CO2 emissions and mitigating climate change, ACCs assess how different adaptation options alleviate the costs of climate change.

The RAMSES Deliverable  D5.3 “Adaptation Cost Curves” was dedicated to the understanding and the development of ACCs.

Based on previous RAMSES tasks and deliverables, detailed ACCs were provided for the representative examples of heat related productivity reduction and sea-level rise for the three RAMSES core case study cities: Antwerp, Bilbao, and London. Additionally, in the context of extreme events (sea flooding) a complete framework has been developed, including the full workflow from the (physical) extreme event through the damage function to the damage distribution and high-level cost-benefit analysis.

Finally, ACCs have been related to similar approaches for the assessment of adaptation options, including “Optimal Adaptation” and “Amortization”.

The authors conclude that:

  1. ACCs can be a useful tool for policy makers to have a high level evaluation of the efficiency of adaptation measures.
  2. ACCs are easy to read but can be misleading and the interpretation should be assisted by an expert.
  3. One major source of problems around ACCs is the possible interaction among the adaptation options, as the implementation of an option can influence the expected loss or residual loss of another option.
  4. ACCs represent only one way to compare costs and benefits of adaptation measures. They should not be used as a single decision-making tool, but be complemented with alternative representations, such as optimal adaptation or amortization.
  5. The decision-maker needs to be clear about the planning horizon and define it beforehand, since it plays a crucial role in the comparison of costs and benefits.

 

Analysis of indirect impacts and benefits of adaptation to the economy and business supply chains

Climate change impacts to urban areas are often assessed by measuring direct damages to buildings, infrastructure, and people. Any impact assessment must also attempt to capture more complex indirect effects to avoid missing important effects of future climate change on urban areas. Damage to key infrastructure in cities (such as transport networks) from extreme events is often costly to repair. This damage can also, however, result in a reduction in performance of that infrastructure and danger, discomfort, or inconvenience for its users. Since such infrastructure underpins the economic and social functions of urban areas, this reduction in performance can also lead to knock-on effects and wider costs to the city.

RAMSES has been developing ways to analysis the indirect impacts of climate change on the urban economy, with particular focus on flooding in London. The report “Analysis of indirect impacts, and benefits of adaptation, to the economy and business supply chains(D3.3) demonstrated how we can simulate flooding impacts from extreme rainfall on the transport networks in the city (including roads and railways). Whilst it is possible to analyse first-order impacts (i.e. disruption to the transport infrastructure and associated delays), RAMSES is going beyond this to look at the knock-on effects to the economy through business supply chains. The urban economy is an interlinked system forming a co-reliant network of individual businesses and economic sectors. Disruption or damage to one sector can lead to second-order impacts along the business supply chain, with further economic costs due to a reduction in supply to businesses further down the chain. These effects can be captured through Input-Output modelling of the urban economy.

 

Figure: Commuting trips to the Canary Wharf area of London by rail in 2011. The colour of each area represents the number of people travelling from that area to Canary Wharf for employment

The reduction in the performance of the commuting networks in London have been simulated and the indirect impacts on the economy calculated via loss of production. Results are presented for a number of economic sectors and for the economy of London as a whole. The report shows that the total cost of indirect impacts from extreme weather, in the form of pluvial flooding, can be significant. For a 1-in-200 year rainfall event in London, costs of disruption in terms of loss of production could amount to £165m without adaptation. Second-order effects, which are propagated through the economy via business supply chains, can be even larger. Using Input-Output analysis, second order effects from the same event could total £174m.

Possible adaptation options for reducing the impact of such disruptions are discussed in the deliverable, with ongoing work in RAMSES examining adaptation options further. The different stages of intervention in the urban economic system, and the potential effectiveness of soft and hard, green and grey adaptation options are now being simulated in London and Antwerp. This work leads towards the final synthesis of city-level results to be presented in RAMSES Deliverable 3.4 “Application of detailed systems-based risk analysis and production of final synthesis report, expected in autumn 2017.

 

On-going work in RAMSES key case study cities Antwerp, London and Bilbao

RAMSES is applying new research methodologies and modelling to the three RAMSES key case study cities Antwerp, London and Bilbao.

 

Antwerp

The Antwerp case study allows the integration of several research results of different RAMSES partners. The aim of the RAMSES work in Antwerp is to apply the adaptation pathway methodology (presented in the report “Transition Model” to urban heat risk management. To do this, several activities have been planned. The first step consists of analysing existing heat-health protection measures against the core elements of a generic Heat Health Action Plan (HHAP) framework (WHO, Tecnalia). Secondly, a heat-health hazard analysis is underway to ascertain the thresholds in temperatures beyond which adverse health outcomes are observed, both retrospectively and under likely climate change and population development scenarios. An Urban Heat Island analysis is already done and the effectiveness of several adaptation options (e.g. cool materials like white roofs and green solutions like trees and green roofs) has been modelled (VITO). And third, the time frame of the HHAP will be extended through the adaptation pathway approach, identifying the critical triggers that would require change in core strategies to protect health from high temperatures in a changing climate (Tecnalia, WHO). Previous research suggests an increase in both fatal and non-fatal heat-related health outcomes in the absence of adequate preventive actions. Therefore, adopting a long term flexible approach is necessary. An adaptation pathway is a good approach for long-term planning under uncertainty.

 

We have also estimated economic costs of heat stress to the city of Antwerp, through its impact on labour productivity. Specifically, we used the methodology developed in RAMSES by LSE/Seneca and VITO and calibrated the economic production functions to the city economy and productivity loss functions with the output from urban heat models (see reports Economic costs of climate change in European cities and Adaptation Cost Curves). We additionally estimated benefits of two adaptation measures (air conditioning and solar blinds) and approximate costs of adaptation measures, in order to generate adaptation cost curves for these measures.

Alongside work on heat risk, UNEW is also working with partners in Antwerp to develop simulations of pluvial flood risk in the city. New developments of the CityCAT flooding model, including the inclusion for the first time of subsurface drainage networks and spatial rainfall events, are being tested in Antwerp to supporting the city with its water adaptation planning. Detailed knowledge of past flood events in the city is allowing validation of the model. Development of such modelling scenarios will allow the risk from extreme rainfall to be examined alongside extreme temperatures, and a cross comparison of at-risk areas and adaptation options to be undertaken.

 

London

RAMSES research results are also applied for London. Development of city-scale simulations of climate impacts are being undertaken. Simulations of pluvial flooding and its impacts on urban infrastructure are being carried-out, alongside simulations of the Urban Heat Island effect. This will allow a comparison of the effectiveness of adaptation options (such as green roofs and urban greenspaces) on various future climate hazards. As described above, London is also a test case for the analysis of indirect impacts to the urban economy. Specifically, we used the methodology developed in RAMSES by LSE/Seneca and VITO in order to estimate costs of productivity losses due to heat stress to the city economy. We did this by calibrating the economic production functions to the city economy and productivity loss functions with the output from urban heat models. Furthermore, we used model estimates of benefits of two adaptation measures (air conditioning and solar blinds), along with rough estimates of costs of adaptation measures, in order to generate adaptation cost curves for the city of London. (See reports Economic costs of climate change in European cities and Adaptation Cost Curves).

 

London is a reference case regarding the adaptation pathway approach which served as validation of the step-by step methodology defined in the D8.2. A workshop (with direct invitation) was held on 21 November 2016, in London. The workshop was organised by the London Climate Change Partnership (LCCP) and Tecnalia. The LCCP Chairman Chris Rapley introduced the session, which featured presentations by Tim Reeder from LCCP, Alex Nickson from Thames Water  (TW) and Maddalen Mendizabal from Tecnalia, followed by respective interactive exercises fostering first-hand knowledge exchange between participants. The workshop served at validating the steps presented in the adaptation pathway design. London is serving as a reference case for the pathway design and therefore, other activities carried out in other cities will be inspired in London case study.

 

Another part of the RAMSES research is examining the effectiveness of green adaptation (such as green roofs or urban greenspace) at local scale. Working in five opportunity areas, flood simulations are being undertaken for extreme rainfall scenarios to understand the role of green adaptation in protecting those areas. At the same time, temperature reductions, from modelling undertaken by VITO, can be estimated for similar greenspace scenarios to give an understanding of the co-benefits. At a city-scale, the analysis is being undertaken for other scenarios of land-use and transport to understand and quantify the different adaptation approaches that can be applied in urban areas.

 

Bilbao

Bilbao is a transferability case for the adaptation pathway approach. The experience of London and Antwerp will be transferred to Bilbao through a cross-fertilization workshop. In this workshop the functionality and applicability of the pathway approach to other conditions will be discussed. Tecnalia is helping Bilbao in the creation and maturity of an interdepartmental group for climate change issues which will be part of the cross-fertilization workshop. To feed into this, some simple modelling of pluvial flood risk in Bilbao is being undertaken to allow a better understanding of problem areas and potential adaptation options. UNEW is undertaking some simple flood analysis work in Bilbao, testing the simulation of pluvial floods from extreme rainfall in the city.

 

As with the other two cities, we have also used the methodology developed in RAMSES by LSE/Seneca and VITO, calibrating the economic production functions to the city economy and productivity loss functions with the output from urban heat models, in order to estimate costs of heat stress to the urban economy through productivity losses. (See reports Economic costs of climate change in European cities and Adaptation Cost Curves). Again benefits of two adaptation measures (air conditioning and solar blinds) and approximate costs of adaptation were estimated, in order to generate adaptation cost curves for these measures.

 

Regarding the heat wave risk, NTNU and Tecnalia have collaborated with the municipality of Bilbao in developing a set of scenarios of green mitigation actions aiming to benefit the human thermal stress inside typical urban canyons of Bilbao. The interaction between municipal actors and researchers has demonstrated that establishing a continuous dialogue between urban planners and researchers is effective in order to address mitigation and adaptation interventions for large parts of the cities affected by climate risks if they are supported by scientific and validated results. This approach of using the outcomes of advanced numerical modelling as a basis for stakeholders dialogue in a common arena, is more and more used to support urban decision makers oriented to promote urban planning recommendations to create a higher level of attractiveness and effectiveness of urban quality, liveability and accessibility in public urban spaces as well as to improve the human thermal comfort. The RAMSES report D4.3 entitled “Urban adaptation effects on urban climate” contains the detailed results of this cooperation.

 

II) RAMSES is supporting the 4th Open European Day at Resilient Cities 2017 in Bonn

 

As European citizens enjoy the first sunny days of spring, city planners and climate experts reflect on last winter’s flooding and storms and consider the heatwaves that are likely to hit European cities this summer. Open European Day at Bonn Resilient Cities will bring European cities together to discuss their common challenges and share their successful solutions in a uniquely interactive event that sees cities taking centre stage and sharing cases from their most recent experiences in a conversational format. Innovation, co-creation and transformation in cities are the events three main themes for the event and will frame the opening plenary, facilitated by organizers ICLEI Europe and the European Environment Agency, and with contributions by the Committee of the Regions, DG Clima, DG Research and the European Investment Bank.

 

The event will include interactive workshops where cities will present a real-life challenge and during the workshop, participants will explore solutions to these challenges. On the topic of innovation, participants will discuss examples from Bologna (Italy) and Lisbon (Portugal) of innovative financing for climate adaptation and Guimarães (Portugal) will share its experiences with innovation in multi-purpose nature-based solutions. On the topic of co-creation, Athens (Greece) will contribute on citizens as drivers of change, Greater London (UK) on adaptation and social inclusion and Vagos (Portugal), Valka (Latvia) and the Life DERRIS project will discuss co-creation with research and business.

 

Bratislava (Slovakia) and next year’s European Green Capital of Nijmegen (Netherlands) will share their impressions of how transformation manifests in a physical sense in their cities, and a final Covenant of Mayors session on city transformation through administration will include contributions by Bilbao (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark).

 

Attendance at the Open European Day is free of charge to cities and registration is now open. A draft programme is now available on the Bonn Resilient Cities website at http://resilientcities2017.iclei.org/open-european-day.

 

III) New RAMSES research reports

New research reports are:

Analysis of indirect impacts, and benefits of adaptation, to the economy and business supply chains

This report examines the indirect impacts of climate events on the urban economy by analysing flooding disruption in London. The disruption of commuting journeys by flooding is simulated, and secondary effects through supply chain disruption assessed using input-output tables. Adaptation options, to reduce such disruptions, are discussed.

Transition Model

This report describes the transition model developed in RAMSES. It is aimed at helping cities in the selection of the best alternative of transition to climate change adaptation at short and long term. The model intends to provide pathway alternatives guiding the cities translation into future resilient cities.

All finalised public Deliverables can be downloaded from our project website www.ramses-cities.eu.

 

IV) Latest RAMSES publications

Villarroel Walker, R., Beck, M. B., Hall, J. W., Dawson, R. J., and Heidrich, O.: Identifying key technology and policy strategies for sustainable cities: A case study of London, Environmental Development, 21, 1-18, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envdev.2016.11.006, 2017.  

De Ridder, K., B. Maiheu, D. Lauwaet, I.A. Daglis, I. Keramitsoglou, K. Kourtidis, P. Manunta and M. Paganini, 2016. Urban Heat Island Intensification during Hot Spells - The Case of Paris during the Summer of 2003. Urban Science, 1, doi: 10.3390/urbansci1010003 http://www.mdpi.com/2413-8851/1/1/3/htm.

 

 

V) RAMSES news

The latest research findings of RAMES are published on the RAMSES homepage. We invite you to have a look

 

 

Europe The work leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme under Grant Agreement No. 308497
Project RAMSES - Reconciling Adaptation, Mitigation and Sustainable Development for Cities.