The Earth's climate is changing. And with climate change, cities – and the people who live in cities - face increasing risks from flooding, heat waves and other extreme weather events. Adapting to this change could be decisive for the future of cities. But how to adapt? What are the costs? And how to rank options and measures to make urban infrastructure resilient?

The European research project RAMSES gave answers to these questions. Through understanding city characteristics and climate change impacts on the urban scale, the project assessed risks and vulnerabilities and quantified the costs and benefits of respective adaptation options.

By asking city policy makers and local actors about the challenges that cities face, RAMSES tailored its research to cities’ needs. RAMSES  delivered the following:

  • the Stakeholder survey report highlighted support opportunities and the potential role of the EC in strengthening urban adaptation processes;

  • the Database on taxonomic resilient architecture and infrastructure indicators encompassed and ordered key measures to improve urban design, informing EU policy-making to formulate recommendations on how to make urban infrastructure resilient;

  • the three RAMSES Stakeholder Dialogue organised to share and co-create the research results of the project. The Stakeholder Dialogues offered an opportunity for those at the European level to meet directly with local and regional policy makers, adaptation practitioners and other stakeholders, and to gain insights into those policies that could represent “game changers". The Stakeholder dialogues allowed for relevant stakeholders/target groups to learn from the research which has been conducted within RAMSES and to provide comments and feedback that were integrated into the RAMSES activities and outputs.

  • Web-based audio-visual guidance The web-based audio-visual guidance application provided an application with comprehensive content accessible without personal guidance from experts. The most detailed layer included target group orientated condensations of the scientific results, background information and links to further reading.
  • 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. It 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.
  • 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 and a slide-deck. 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 Training webinars. RAMSES organised two training events and three training webinars. They were structured along the Transition Handbook and Training Package. Topics of the webinars were:

The full list of project outputs relevant for the city level can be found here.

The outputs were a result of interdisciplinary research on costs of climate adaptation in cities from the following scientific disciplines: adaptation, mitigation, climate change impacts, economics, architecture, infrastructure, urban and spatial planning, climate modeling, policy and governance, risk, resilience and vulnerability, health, and communication.

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.