16th RAMSES newsletter

Table of contents

Welcome to the sixteenth and final RAMSES Newsletter!

I) Goodbye from the RAMSES project

II) RAMSES main scientific results

  • Climate Change Scenarios for Cities
  • Cost Assessment Frameworks for Damages and Adaptation
  • City Benchmarking by Analysing Structural Features
  • City-scale Vulnerability and Risk Assessment
  • Investigating Adaptation Options/Comparison of Top-Down and Bottom-up Approaches
  • Development and Validation of a Transition Model

III) RAMSES tools to support cities in adaptation planning

  • The web-based audio-visual guidance application on-urban-resilience.eu
  • RAMSES Transition Handbook
  • RAMSES Training Package
  • Find out more about RAMSES results

IV) Looking towards the future - Related on-going projects

V) Data protection

I) RAMSES project

Summary of results and impact of research on adaptation to climate change in cities   

This is the last scheduled newsletter for the RAMSES research project which was concluded at the end of September 2017. It gives a summary of RAMSES results and outputs, and considers the impact the research will have within the academic realm and in city administrations in Europe and beyond. At the end of the newsletter we highlight follow-up projects which might be interesting for you.

On behalf of all the RAMSES team, we’d like to thank the readers of this newsletter for their interest.

 

II) RAMSES main Scientific results

Climate Change Scenarios for Cities

RAMSES employed an innovative urban climate model (UrbClim) to be applied to Antwerp, London, and Bilbao. This model was then coupled to the Global Climate Models by the IPCC, and it was found that urban areas experience twice as many heat wave days compared to their rural surroundings. The model also estimated that in the long term the number of heat wave days is expected to increase by a factor of nearly ten. The improved model was then applied to 102 European cities and revealed that the average Urban Heat Island intensity is explained by population density and the mean regional wind speed. Complementary models were also used to identify seven typologies of surface heat islands across European cities.

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Cost Assessment Frameworks for Damages and Adaptation

RAMSES combined empirical climate change-related damage data with activities of stakeholder engagement and analysis to identify gaps in existing data, methods, and knowledge. A set of methodologies and frameworks was then developed to support policy-makers in taking decision about adaptation. A transferable methodology was developed to measure costs and benefits of climate change and adaptation, together with a cost-assessment framework for evaluating and financing adaptation planning.

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City Benchmarking by Analysing Structural Features

RAMSES analysed structural features of cities. Results mainly highlighted that in general smaller cities as well as more open and stretched cities perform better in terms of heat mitigation. It was also found that large cities of developing countries emit more CO2 per capita than small cities, while the opposite was found for cities in developed countries. Furthermore, in developing countries, large cities are more productive in terms of GDP per capita and less efficient in terms of emissions per energy consumption.

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City-scale Vulnerability and Risk Assessment

RAMSES provided a detailed urban risk assessment based on hazard simulations and measures of vulnerability and exposure. A top-down, data-driven indicator approach was utilized to identify risks from heat-waves, droughts, river flooding, and pluvial flooding across all 571 EU Urban Audit cities. A bottom-up detailed systems-based assessment of risks for selected case studies was also provided at city-scale and included simulations of both impacts and adaptation options.

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Investigating Adaptation Options/Comparison of Top-Down and Bottom-up Approaches

RAMSES developed the concept of adaptation cost curves (ACC) to investigate costs and benefits of microscale adaptation in cities. Specifically, RAMSES assessed the implementation of urban green infrastructure as a heat mitigation measure. It was found that the cooling effect of vegetation is mainly limited to the nearest areas of implementation, while its effects on air temperature appear to be limited. Nevertheless, it was found that vegetation can have a potentially very positive effect on local thermal comfort. Therefore, applying vegetative measures in urban areas can represent a relevant adaptation strategy.

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Development and Validation of a Transition Model

RAMSES developed a novel model to build a pathway for adopting transition options in European urban areas. Such model defines the key components of the pathway and a step-by-step methodology for its design through the following five steps: define objectives; pre-identify an adaptation options list; develop adaptation pathway alternatives; recommend an adaptation pathway; and implementation and monitoring.

Read more

 

III) RAMSES tools to support cities in adaptation planning

 

The RAMSES framework was converted into a user-friendly Toolbox for city stakeholders that take adaptation and mitigation decisions and prioritise investment. This Toolbox comprises a Transition Handbook (a step-by-step guide), training materials, and a web-based audio-visual guidance application called on-urban-resilience.eu, which presents project results in an accessible way for implementation by city stakeholders. By using different media the project aimed to stimulate the dialogue and knowledge transfer between science, cities and the broader public.

 

The web-based audio-visual guidance application on-urban-resilience.eu

How to make a city climate resilient? This encompasses more than reducing emissions and adapting to the impacts, it is the progressive process of building a resilient city. A lot of people have been thinking about how to get there. The Climate Media Factory has asked these experts to share their insights and lessons learnt. The result is a unique resource for municipalities: http://on-urban-resilience.eu

By connecting more than 100 short film sequences, the interactive guidance tool “On Urban Resilience” presents a broad range of policy relevant scientific information, perspectives, knowledge bites, and experiences.

The strong audio-visual representation of RAMSES was quite unique for a research project. The RAMSES Youtube channel gives additional impressions from the RAMSES-Project, for example with Impressions from the 1st RAMSES Stakeholder Dialogue and Impressions from the second RAMSES Stakeholder Dialogue.

 

RAMSES transition handbook

The RAMSES Transition Handbook is a dissemination, awareness and training tool, targeted at city stakeholders, for supporting the definition of their transition towards successful adaptation. Therefore, the handbook provides guidelines for local administrations to help them advance towards more resilient cities to climate change.

The Transition Handbook has been conceived as a complementary guide to other stepwise manuals and materials already developed by different entities, i.e. the Urban Adaptation Support Tool, developed by the European Environmental Agency in support of Majors Adapt. It mainly encompasses the methods and tools applied in the context of the RAMSES project and its key outcomes, and therefore it is context specific and refers to the European policy landscape and mainly to European cities. However, the suggested adaptive management cycle and supporting tools are also applicable to other urban realities outside Europe.

The targeted audience are local decision makers, practitioners and consultants from municipalities and cities.

 

RAMSES Training Package

The RAMSES Training Package is a complementary document to the Transition Handbook and part of the same electronic and printed file; it operationalises the RAMSES findings into a support mechanism for local decision-making through nine worksheets.

Additionally, a Slide-deck was produced summarising the most policy-relevant project findings to support cities in raising awareness on climate adaptation.

The Urban Adaptation Support tool has been used to punctuate the navigation of the nine modules contained in the document, replicating the structure of the Transition Handbook. Furthermore, cross-references have been added, which allows users navigating the Transition Handbook to directly jump to the corresponding module of the Training Package. Modules include topics such as:

  • Stakeholder mapping and involvement;
  • Identification of climate impacts;
  • Assessing vulnerabilities and risks in cities;
  • Calculating the economic costs of health impacts;
  • Identifying and prioritising adaptation options;
  • Developing a back-casting to identify long-term strategic goals for cities;
  • Identifying indicators for resilient architecture and infrastructure;
  • Communicating climate adaptation.

The Training Package worksheets also have cross-links to the audio-visual guidance application, so that users can click open videos related to the topics of the worksheets.

 

RAMSES in the news

The RAMSES High Level Climate Risk Analysis (Deliverable 3.1 of the RAMSES project) has been published in the international news:

You find the full press release here.

 

Find out more about RAMSES results

IV) Looking towards the future

Related on-going projects

For further information in the field of urban adaptation we point you to some on-going projects where RAMSES partner are involved:

Climate-fit.city: climate-fit.city/

EUCalc: european-calculator.eu

GROWGREEN: growgreenproject.eu/

RESIN: resin-cities.eu/

Smart Mature Resilience: smr-project.eu/

Copernicus Climate Change Service project 'European Health' (website will be online soon)

IMPETUS Project

The list is not to be considered exhaustive.

 

V) Data protection

Having sent the concluding RAMSES newsletter, we will delete your names and email addresses from the newsletter management portal.

 

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.