Final publishable summary report

RAMSES (Reconciling Adaptation, Mitigation and Sustainable dEvelopment for citieS) was a five-year project focussing on climate change adaptation planning, including the calculation of climate change-related damage and adaptation costs. Given the overwhelming complexity and diversity of urban centers, rigorous analyses in this context are rare and in most cases not comparable. Therefore, in order to achieve some progress in terms of inter-comparability of approaches and results, and in order to foster action on urban adaptation, the consortium developed analytical frameworks for the implementation of adaptation strategies and measures in EU and international cities. Consequently, the project developed a set of innovative methods and tools that quantify the impacts of climate change and the costs and benefits of adaptation to climate change, thus providing evidence to enable policy makers to design adaptation strategies. It integrates the assessment of impacts
and costs to provide a much more coherent approach than currently exists, exploring the balance between top-down and bottom-up approaches necessary to ensure effective policy making in urban areas.

Overall the project published 38 journal articles (with an additional 10 in press or under review), organised several workshops, conferences, and dissemination activities. In addition to novel scientific approaches and methodological developments, the political and institutional context in case study cities was examined allowed the identification of mechanisms that shape concrete policy making. It became obvious that a shift from pure technical and/or simple cost benefit considerations must occur, and that city stakeholders require a portfolio of options rather than one optimal pathway, with the empowerment of people being a fundamental element in increasing the acceptance of climate change adaptation measures. RAMSES succeeded in creating a variety of valuable scientific and policy-related stimuli which can be built-upon in future projects.

Transition Handbook and Training Package

Transition Handbook and Training Package published

The Transition Handbook and the Training Package are 2 of the key tools produced by the RAMSES Project to support cities in their adaptation work.

The Transition Handbook embeds the most important findings from the project in a process management cycle, using the Urban Adaptation Support Tool developed by the European Environment Agency, and synthetises the project results in a practical step-by-step fashion, presenting resources that cities can use to strengthen their knowledge of climate adaptation planning.

The Training Package complements the Transition Handbook by taking stock of existing toolkits to support adaptation management in cities and proposes worksheets and exercises that cities can use to progress on their adaptation endeavours. The worksheets complement the information contained in the Transition Handbook and offer cities a clear path towards becoming more climate adaptive.

RAMSES Bits: The latest news from RAMSES researchers

Highlights from Deliverable 8.3

Transition Reports for the selected case studies

The report “D8.3: Transition Reports for the selected case studies” applied the RAMSES transition model to the city of Antwerp to select the best pathways alternatives. The transition model has five general steps: (1) define objectives; (2) pre-identify an adaptation options list, (3) develop adaptation pathway alternatives, (4) recommend an adaptation pathway, (5) and implement the recommended pathway and monitor. The report analysed the heat effect in health and work productivity in Antwerp. It found that indoor thermal comfort and outdoor thermal comfort are critical elements for heat-health impact analysis, as they strongly influence the work productivity and health problems in exposed populations.

Highlights from Deliverable 5.4

Cost Assessment Framework

RAMSES has developed a cost assessment framework to help policy makers make adaptation decisions more effectively and efficiently. The framework follows a hierarchical approach for prioritising and financing adaptation. The RAMSES Transition Handbook and the Urban Adaptation Support Tool (UAST) represent a comprehensive process for dealing with adaptation decision-making that include social, political, technical, environmental, economic and other considerations. The cost assessment framework is designed to provide much of the economic and financial assessment for the Transition Handbook, specifically supporting phases 2 to 5 of the Handbook.

Highlights from Deliverable 3.3

Extreme rain could cost London £165m without adaptation

The report D3.3: “Extension of detailed systems-based risk analysis” uses network analysis to assess the disruption caused by flooding in London to the labour force resulting from the reduction in performance of transport infrastructure, and thus the reduction in productive hours in business sectors supplied by that labour. The report finds that for a 1-in-200 years rainfall event, costs of disruption in terms of loss of production could amount to £165m without adaptation. Further analysis of a range of climate change scenarios and adaptation options will be reported in RAMSES D3.4.

Audio-visual guidance tool

Over 100 short video interviews “On Urban Resilience”

A resilient city is not only made up of bricks and mortar, but of flexible systems of elements working together. This complexity has been creatively visualised online in an interactive map of short video clips.

As part of RAMSES, a European-funded research project on climate impacts and adaptation strategies for cities, Climate Media Factory has condensed scientific research into a compilation of over 100 short interview sequences from 33 climate change adaptation and resilience experts. Users can define their own way of navigating the “On Urban Resilience” platform by auto-playing videos, searching by keyword or branching off into a topic-specific strand of clips to learn more in greater detail.

“On Urban Resilience” is designed to help cities to find information on climate change impacts and to explore their options for adapting to climate change and for building city resilience. Contributions by experts on adaptation and resilience from across Europe cover topics such as social adaptation, local climate change models, political commitments and how to start an adaptation strategy in cities. Frans Berkhout, King’s College London, said, “Cities are the main place where climate risks are going to be played out: not only in cities with large poor populations in the global south, but also very wealthy cities in the global north: New York and Sandy is a perfect example of that.”

“On Urban Resilience” is available online for free at

On urban resilience

Scientific reports

Political / Institutional Assessment

Transition Reports for the selected case studies

June 2017

The aim of this deliverable is to apply the transition model developed in Task 8.2 to case studies to support the selection of the best alternatives of transition to climate change adaptation at short and long term and provide pathway alternatives. The methodology was validated in London, applied in the city of Antwerp and results transferred to the city of Bilbao.

Download D8.3 

Transition model

December 2016

The aim of this deliverable is to present the transition model developed in Task 8.2 which will support cities in the selection of the best alternative of transition to climate change adaptation at short and long term. This model will provide pathway alternatives guiding the cities translation into future resilient cities..

Download D8.2 

Factors of Transition and their Dynamics

March 2016

The aim of this deliverable is to present the identified factors which influence transition dynamics. These factors are related to availability of financial and other resources, legal and regulatory frameworks, cross-scale socio-economic interactions (due to, for example, institutional architecture, investments of private companies, provision of basic services, etc.), technology availability, cultural and consumption behaviour patterns, among others.

Download D8.1 

Identification of drivers of urban growth in the political and institutional context

September 2016

This deliverable analyzes the dynamics and the content of the adaptation efforts to climate change in selected cities. With special focus on two main hazards (floods and heat risks), this research sheds light on relevant conditions that facilitated the start and evolution of political and institutional changes culminating in more robust climate-resilient actions at the local level. This paper builds on the case-study of New York City, supplemented by insights from London and Antwerp. It also opens a discussion on the inclusion of cultural factors in the process of resilience building, so far little explored in the adaptation literature. It argues that adaptation cannot succeed without people empowerment and the consideration of social, institutional and political settings, as well as the nature of urbanization trends.

Download D7.3 

"Typology of the tools available to policy-makers and assessment of their efficiency"

December 2015

This research explores urban adaptation by analysing three main approaches that can assist local leaders to implement adaptation measures to climate change: grey, green and soft measures. The study places special emphasis on the need of a package of measures to be implemented holistically with significant attention to “soft” options, mainly social empowerment and participatory tools of multiple stakeholders, as successful enablers of an effective adaptation plan.

Download D7.2 

"Analytical framework of the decision-making process on adaptation" 

May 2014

This paper describes the analytical framework that will be used to analyse the adaptation strategies implemented by cities.

Download D7.1

"Stakeholder Survey Report"

March 2014

The aim of the report is to inform the RAMSES project research on the state of play with regard to adaptation and adaptation costs in European and international cities.

Download D9.1


Cost assessment

Cost Assessment Framework 

July 2017

This report presents a cost assessment framework that follows a hierarchical approach for prioritisingand financing adaptation, aimed at helping policy makers make adaptation decisions more effectivelyand efficiently.

Download D5.4

Adaptation Cost Curves  

November 2016

Derivation of Adaptation Cost Curves

Download D5.3

Methods inventory for infrastructure assessment

Chapter 4: Cost inventories for 9 infrastructure components  

April 2016

This report presents benchmarks, inventories and quantitative measures to assess infrastructure components, efficiencies and strategies that support the implementation of adaptation and mitigation efforts at the urban level.

Download D1.3

"Economic costs of heat and flooding in cities: Cost and economic data for the European Clearinghouse databases"

November 2015

This report presents a new transferable methodology for estimating economy-wide production losses from climate change impacts such as heatwaves and flooding, together with averted losses from adaptation measures. Results for RAMSES core case study cities (London, Antwerp and Bilbao) are presented as cost data for the RAMSES common platform.

Download D5.2

Assessment tool to estimate the economic costs of health impacts of climate change at the local level

November 2015

This report accompanies a prototype tool that can be used to estimate the economic costs of health impacts of climate change using data for health economic analysis and adaptation activity costs at the local level in the RAMSES cities within the WHO European Region.

Download D6.2 report

Download D6.2 assessment tool

"Review on economic assessment of damage or adaptation costs of health effects of climate change"

January 2015

This deliverable is based on a literature review of the health economics of climate change in Europe. It specifically reviews studies on the economic evaluation of health damage attributable to climate change impacts, as well as the benefits of adaptation and mitigation.

Download 6.1

"Review of climate change losses and adaptation costs for case studies"

March 2014

This report provides a review of climate change and adaptation costs for European cities, including a range of case studies and stakeholder surveys.

Download D5.1

Impact / Adaptation / Efficiency Assessment

Application of detailed systems-based risk analysis and production of final synthesis report

July 2017

Deliverable 3.4 describes the application of the detailed systems-based risk analysis techniques described in D3.2 and D3.3 to the case study cities of London, Antwerp, and Bilbao. The wider transferability of this more detailed risk assessment is demonstrated by application to other cities, and a range of adaptation options analysed. These options include alternative land-use and spatial planning strategies and the protection of infrastructure systems. The report subsequently synthesises findings from WP3 to make recommendations for policy-makers to improve city-scale risk assessment and for wider application of risk and vulnerability analysis.

Download D3.4

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

March 2017

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.

Download D3.3

Extension of detailed systems-based risk analysis

April 2016

This report outlines the methodologies adopted for the extension of detailed city-scale climate risk assessment to include new hazards, in the form of pluvial flooding and air quality, and new vulnerability assessments through disruption to businesses.

Download D3.2

Methods inventory for infrastructure assessment

April 2016

This report presents benchmarks, inventories and quantitative measures to assess infrastructure components, efficiencies and strategies that support the implementation of adaptation and mitigation efforts at the urban level.

Download D1.3

Library of adaptation cost and transition functions

February 2016

The term transition function describes an estimated function providing the likelihood of a transition depending on influencing factor(s). One can distinguish abrupt or gradual and favourable or unfavourable transitions. This report tackles 3 dimensions of transitions in the context of cities in the climate change complex. The interdisciplinary library consists of an economics (Part I), geography (Part II), and physics (Part III) perspective. Parts I and II treat favourable transitions and Part III is about unfavourable ones.

Download D1.4

Urban adaptation effects on urban climate

January 2016

This report contains the results of the advanced numerical models and on-site measurements on the impacts of adaptation on urban climate through meso and microscale analyses conducted by RAMSES researchers on the case study cities of Antwerp, Paris and Delhi at the mesoscale, and Antwerp and Bilbao at the micro-scale. The outcomes are design and policy guidelines for new and consolidated urban areas.

Download D4.3

High level quantified assessment of key vulnerabilities and priority risks for urban areas in the EU

This report describes a high level climate risk analysis methodology for urban areas. The approach takes advantage of increased availability of European and global dataset and computing power to apply the method to 571 cities in the EU’s Urban Audit database.

Download D3.1

Climate resilience in architecture, infrastructure and urban environments. Analysis of RAMSES case study cities

July 2015

This report addresses the state of the art in RAMSES case-study cities. The results contribute to a taxonomy of indicators and design guidelines for resilient architecture, infrastructure and urban environments that can be implemented by public authorities at the building, neighbourhood and catchment scales of the city. A first part of the report examines also the interplay of blue, green and grey infrastructures and soft adaptation measures, based on third party research, and highlights the necessity of a multi-scale approach to resilient infrastructure within and between sectors.

Download D2.3

Adaptation measures and corresponding indicators for resilient architecture and infrastructure

May 2015

This report contains a taxonomy of adaptation measures and corresponding indicators for resilient architecture and infrastructure that can be implemented by public authorities at the building, neighbourhood and catchment scales of the city. The taxonomy was developed in cooperation between RAMSES researchers and city representatives.

Download D2.4

Agglomeration-scale urban climate and air quality projections

March 2015

This report describes the methods used to generate urban climate and air quality projections, and their results.

Download D4.2

Development of a library of impact functions and general uncertainty measures

The purpose of this deliverable is to develop a defined set of impact functions for cities in order to estimate the damages due to (climate change related) natural hazards.

Download D1.2

Report on validation of agglomeration-scale climate simulations

May 2014

Results from the validation phase of the urban modelling in selected RAMSES case study cities.

Download D4.1

Physical and cost typology for buildings and infrastructure/project database

May 2014

The report presents new and simplified typologies for buildings and infrastructure based on different climatic stimuli.

Download D2.2

Synthesis review on resilient architecture and infrastructure indicators

December 2013

This report provides an overview of the most relevant indicators in architecture and infrastructure currently used in climate change research and defined needs related to the urban built environment in terms of adaptation challenges.

Download D2.1

RAMSES Common Platform

RAMSES project results are publicly available via the RAMSES Common Platform. The online platform helps to share results among partners and the wider research community. The Common Platform has been developed for interested scientists, experts, and the general public. The goal is to present the data and the results of RAMSES in an attractive manner through different visualizations. Scientific target groups include various fields and levels of expertise. Interested laypeople are also welcome to use the platform to learn more about advancement in impact and adaptation science for cities.

Visit the RAMSES Common Platform at

Training materials

1st RAMSES Stakeholder Dialogue

The 1st RAMSES Stakeholder Dialogue gave participants the opportunity to share insights and discuss their experience with key adaptation experts and stakeholders and with cities that are engaged in adaptation. Experts from Seneca, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology and TECNALIA shared their valuable expertise on crucial adaptation issues, such as embedding architecture and infrastructure indicators into adaptation planning, developing cost-assessments for adaptation and creating a vision for urban transitions towards resilience. The workshop was moderated by ICLEI

During this one-day event, participants had the chance to learn more on cutting-edge adaptation research and will brainstorm with peers and experts on how to advance urban adaptation in Europe.

You can find the final programme of the Stakeholder Dialogue here.

The workshop report can be downloaded here.

2nd RAMSES Stakeholder Dialogue

The SD offered a unique opportunity to cities and urban adaptation experts and practitioners to learn about interim results of the RAMSES project, voice their experiences and give feedback to further advance and tailor the RAMSES Research. Three main crucial topics to fostering adaptation and resilience development have been at the core of the event:

  • Tools and resources to inform decision-making on adaptation were presented by the University of Versailles and discussed to evaluate their scope and effectiveness;
  • Tecnalia described and co-created with participants specific indicators to describe and evaluate transition factors that allow cities to move to a resilient and adapted future scenario;
  • Addressing the impacts of climate change on public health was presented by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The input provided by RAMSES world-class experts have been discussed with stakeholders through interactive exercises. This helped in providing a reality check to the research and inform practitioners’ work on adaptation. 

You can find the final programme of the Stakeholder Dialogue here.

The workshop report can be downloaded here.

1st RAMSES Webinar

This is a recording of the RAMSES webinar which took place on the 11 November 2013. The webinar recording starts with a presentation by Dr. Anne Holsten (PIK) on the importance of adaptation in cities and an explanation on how the RAMSES Project will support local governments in doing so. Presentations by Dr. Annemie Wyckmans (NTNU), Efrén Feliu (Tecnalia) and Dr. Graham Floater (Seneca/LSE) on resilient architecture and infrastructure, transition pathways towards resilience and adaptation costs were delivered during the webinar.

2nd RAMSES Webinar

This is a recording of the RAMSES webinar which took place on the 4 November 2015. 

Drawing pathways towards the Resilient City: Identifying vulnerabilities, empowering decision-making, fostering change


  1. Julia Peleikis, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability: "Introduction to the webinar and the RAMSES project"
  2. Gerardo Sanchez Martinez, World Health Organization: "Addressing the impacts of climate change, and specifically heat on public health and the related adaptation options"
  3. Nicole De Paula, University of Versailles: "Different tools, methods and experiences to inform and trigger decision-making on adaptation"
  4. Maddelen Mendizabal, TECNALIA Research & Innovation: "Transition towards urban climate resilience: identifying key drivers to stimulate effective adaptation pathways"

3rd RAMSES Webinar

This is a recording of the RAMSES webinar which took place on 24th November 2016. 

1st RAMSES training webinar

"Understanding Urban Heat Effects and the Core Dimensions of Resilient Systems for improved Urban Quality"

The first RAMSES training webinar took place on 22nd June 2017 from 11:00-12:00 (CET). 

In the webinar "Understanding Urban Heat Effects and the Core Dimensions of Resilient Systems for improved Urban Quality" experts from VITO and NTNU presented their work on Urban Heat Island and the Core Dimensions of Resilient Systems.

Download the programme

2nd RAMSES training Webinar

"High-level climatic vulnerability assessments and pathway design for adaptation planning"

The second RAMSES training webinar took place on 13th July 2017 from 11:00-12:00 (CET)

In the webinar "High-level climatic vulnerability assessments and pathway design for adaptation planning", Alistair Ford, University of Newcastle presented on "Analysing urban flood risk and adaptation options: how much can models help?" and Helia Costa London School of Economics presented on the economic impacts of climate change and how this intersects with adaptation planning.

3rd RAMSES training Webinar

"Protecting public health from climate change and designing pathways towards more resilient cities"

The third RAMSES training webinar took place on 13th September 2017 from 11:00-12:00 (CET)

The webinar "Protecting public health from climate change and designing pathways towards more resilient cities" is the final edition in a series of webinars and experts from Tecnalia and the World Health Organization will present their work on climate change, health and city resilience.

Download programme

Dissemination materials

  • RAMSES 3rd Stakeholder Dialogue Workshop Factsheet(download here)


  • 1st RAMSES Newsletter (open)

  • 2nd RAMSES Newsletter (open)

  • 3rd RAMSES Newsletter (open)

  • 4th RAMSES Newsletter (open)

  • 5th RAMSES Newsletter (open)

  • 6th RAMSES Newsletter (open)

  • 7th RAMSES Newsletter (open)

  • 8th RAMSES Newsletter (open)

  • 9th RAMSES Newsletter (open)

  • 10th RAMSES Newsletter (open)

  • 11th RAMSES Newsletter (open)

  • 12th RAMSES Newsletter (open)

  • 13th RAMSES Newsletter (open)

  • 14th RAMSES Newsletter (open)

  • 15th RAMSES Newsletter (open)

  • 16th RAMSES Newsletter (open)

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.