RAMSES research work

The RAMSES project consists of 10 work packages, related to each task to be conducted within the project. Work packages 1 to 8 relate to research and development, while work package 9 coordinates the participation of stakeholders and work package 10 develops a practical toolbox for policy makers and other stakeholders. To better illustrate the dependancy of the outcome of one work package on the input of another work package, the graph below highlights the complex interdependency of the work conducted within RAMSES.

Work package overview


Work package 1: Cities at a glance: a generalised systems approach

Research message:

How do cities have to be designed in order to prepare for unavoidable impacts of climate change and to be in line with sustainability and mitigation efforts?
How could urban typologies of sustainable and liveable cities be designed that consider both energy efficiency and climate change resilience?

Main aims:

The main aim is to provide a sound basis for an extended cost assessment framework for adaptation to climate change in urban areas at a level of intermediate complexity. The work within this task will be finished in the beginning of 2016. Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research is overseeing the activities related to the area of work.

Main outcomes:

This work package will be achieved by investigating selected cases studies in a systematic manner. In this context damage functions are essential, which we intend to extend in various directions on an intermediate level of complexity (see Figure 1). City typologies and response functions regarding adaptation are then defined.

Fig. 1: Example for an integration of a climate stimulus (sea level rise and storm surges), a generalised damage and adaptation function in a cost assessment framework. Considering the stochasticity of events, general uncertainty measures regarding costs can be provided. The derived function can then be transferred to other locations. (Sources: damage functions for coastal floods: Böttle et al. 2013/PIK, fractal city model: Prahl et al./PIK (in prep. 2013), urban sprawl patterns based on different transportation constraints: Ward et al. 2000).

Practical use:

The work package represents an overarching framework of the project and a baseline to evaluate the efficiency of city components in case studies.

Work package 2: Taxonomy of architecture and infrastructure indicators

Research message:

Assessing the quality and efficiency of urban architecture and infrastructure in terms of adaptation and mitigation actions, through a systematic survey of literature combined with case studies, stakeholder and expert workshops.

Main aims:

The derivation of indicators of resilience for architecture and infrastructure. Identification of typical architecture and infrastructure categories and associated costs, which are a precondition for the development of cost assessment schemes and adaptation. Determine no- and low-regret options for the design and management of resilient architecture and infrastructure (solution space) to reduce vulnerability under parallel consideration of mitigation.

Main outcomes:

WP2 aims to create a taxonomy of cross-scale indicators for resilient architecture and infrastructure, including qualitative as well as quantitative criteria, that can be deployed in strategic adaptation and mitigation measures in cities (WP4, 6, 7 and 10), to transition to healthy, attractive and functional urban environments (WP8 and 10). WP2 will identify knowledge gaps via literature review as well as direct interaction with RAMSES case study cities, stakeholder and expert workshops.

Practical use:

Providing the basis for the development of indicator systems and typologies to be applied in RAMSES cost and impact functions, modelling, urban design and management, and stakeholder communication.

Main contributors:

NTNU, IVE and PIK

Expected time span for WP:

Mid 2013: Synthesis review on resilient architecture and infrastructure indicators (D2.1)
Early 2014: Physical and cost typology for buildings and infrastructure/project database (D2.2)
Mid 2014: Set of defined resilient architecture and infrastructure indicators (D2.3)
Mid 2014:
Definition of a common taxonomy structure for resilient architecture and infrastructure indicators (MS2)
2015:
Finalised database on taxonomic resilient architecture and infrastructure indicators (D2.4)

Work package 3: Small-scale vulnerability and risk assessment for cities and sectors

Research message:

Work Package 3 will support the design of adaptation strategies in cities by providing a set of tools to assess city-scale vulnerability and evaluate climate
risks on key sectors. This will allow a rational basis for testing the effectiveness of adaptation strategies at reducing climate risk and vulnerability.

Main aims:

The aims of this Work Package are (i) to develop high-level risk and vulnerability assessments of climate impacts at the European level, applying a baseline
to all EU cities, (ii) extending existing city-scale analysis to include new impacts (pluvial flooding and air quality), analyse new risks, and study new cities,
and (iii) provide risk information to project partners and end-users to allow better understanding of the possible effects of future climate on urban areas.
                          

Main outcomes:

New methodologies for high-level risk analysis in Europe, providing quantified assessment of key vulnerabilities and priority risks for urban areas. New systems-based risk analysis incorporating pluvial flood risk and air quality risks in an integrated assessment framework to examine direct and indirect
impacts from climate events.

Practical use:

Open-source modelling tools and spatial database of risk and vulnerability outputs will be made available to stakeholders and end-users, and to
the European Clearinghouse. Modelling approaches for high-level and city-scale assessments will be open-source and transferable to other cities.

Main contributors:

UNEW, LSE, WHO

Expected time span for WP:

Mid-2015 to 2016

Work package 4: Climate change scenarios for urban agglomerations

Research message:

Urban climate models are necessary (in fact the only available) tools to make projections of future climate in cities, and to calculate the impact of scenarios regarding infrastructural adaptation measures. 

Main aims:

The main aim is too find out how urban climate will evolve under global climate change, and how urban planning can be applied as an adaptation measure. 

Main outcomes:

The main outcome will consist of simulated current and future urban climate, accounting also for scenarios related to changing urban physical characteristics (vegetation abundance, urban density, albedo…). Some of the simulations will cover periods of up to tens of years, which is currently out of reach for most traditional urban mesoscale models..

Figure 1. Example of an urban climate simulation result. The figure shows the 2-m temperature at 23:00 local time in the area of Ghent (Belgium), averaged for the month of August 2012. The red colors in the city centre indicate that it is warmer than the rural areas (dark blue) by approximately 3°C (ã VITO).

 

The focus will be on extreme events, such as heat waves, pluvial flooding, and drought. The simulations will provide new insights into the impact of global change on local urban climate, and on the effect of urban planning measures. The goal is to develop as generic as possible a modelling and scenario building methodology, yielding a subsequent swift applicability to new study areas

Practical use:

The quantitative information coming out of this research will help city planners and urban environmental administrations to develop effective policy and strategies regarding urban climate adaptation. 

Main contributors:

VITO (lead), TECNALIA, NTNU

Expected time span for WP:

WP4 runs between months 6 and 37, and will generate the following deliverables:

  • 12 months: Report on validation of agglomeration scale climate simulations (D4.1)
  • 24 months: Agglomeration scale urban climate simulations (D4.2)
  • 37 months: Urban adaptation effects on urban climate (D4.3)

Work package 5: Development of a cost assessment framework for adaptation

Research message:

Policy makers need the best available information to ensure that investments to improve resilience to flooding, violent storms, heat-waves and other extreme events are not only effective and future-proofed, but also economically sound. Currently this is highly challenging, as there is no common, standard metric that policy makers can draw on.

Main aims:

Work Package 5 aims to develop an integrated cost assessment framework to prioritise investments in infrastructure, housing, health and other sectors that build resilience of cities to extreme climate-related events. The framework is intended to take account of the likelihood of impacts, the range of damage costs, and the benefits of implementing adaptation measures to reduce the damages.                         

Main outcomes:

  • A library of climate damage costs and adaptation benefits will be prepared for the RAMSES common platform and made available for Climate-ADAPT, the European Union's database on climate adaptation.

  • A cost assessment framework, including a tool for policy makers to prioritise adaptation measures based on rigorous economic criteria, will be produced.

Practical use:

The cost assessment framework will provide a practical tool for policy makers to make policy and investment decisions that ensure adaptation measures support the economy of cities in the short, medium and long term.

Main contributors:

LSE, Seneca

Expected time span for WP:

Month 36. Mid-term delivery of cost and economic data for Climate-ADAPT.

Month 58. Final delivery of RAMSES Cost Assessment Framework.

Work package 6: City specific health impacts of climate change, damage and adaptation costs

Research message:

There is an economic dimension to the health damage from climate change and to the adaptation needed to prevent that damage. However, currently there is a lack of tools to assess damage costs as well as potential economic benefits from health adaptation. In addition, the state of the science regarding this type of economic evaluations is uncertain. 

Main aims:

  • To review assessments of economic damage or adaptation costs of health effects of climate change;
  • To develop an assessment tool to estimate economic costs of health impacts of climate change in cities;
  • To integrate the assessment tool into the RAMSES toolbox.

Main outcomes:

A complete review of the state of science regarding economic damage or adaptation costs of health effects of climate change.
A tool to estimate the economic costs of:

  1. the health impacts of climate change, including mortality risk, healthcare costs and productivity losses,
  2. the adaptation activity costs in cities of the European region.

Practical use:

The tool and methodological aides for its application will be made available to stakeholders in order to support health adaptation planning activities. All other materials will also be publicly available for reference and support of the tool application

Main contributors:

WHO EURO, LSE, Seneca, PIK

Expected time span for WP:

Review: Month 24 (Mid 2014) 
Tool and case study: Month 30 (Late 2014 – Early 2015) 

Work package 7: Urban policies and governance

Research message:

How institutional and political contexts shape the content of urban policy decision on adaptation.

Main aims:

  • Analyse how the multilevel institutional and political contexts shape the content of urban policy decision;
  • Assess how urban policy interacts with market forces and determine the evolution of the spatial urban structure.

Main outcomes:

  • Analytical framework to analyse the strategy followed by urban markets;
  • Typology of the tools available to policy-makers, and assessment of their efficiency;
  • Identification of drivers of urban growth in the political and institutional context;
  • Development and application of policy tools

Practical use:

This Workpackage aims to help local authorities anticipate and frame market- and migration-driven urban development that is resilient to climate change impacts.

Main contributors:

IDDRI, TECNALIA, LSE, WHO EURO.

Expected time span for WP:

Start month: 13
End  month: 51

 

 

 

Work package 8: Stimulating European urban strategies for transition

Research message:

Generic roadmaps for transition to urban resilience, aligned with cities typologies and considering key factors beyond physical conditions, environmental status or climate scenarios.

Main aims:

The main aim is to provide a framework tool for cities to select the optimum transition pathway towards urban resilience and sustainability, based on the adaptation potential under specific conditions, pressures and risks of each city, integrating in the analysis factors related to policies and planning framework, socio-technical or socio-economic factors.

 

 


 

Main outcomes:

  • A description of transition factors as well as its dynamics and metrics.
  • A Generic transition model for cities typologies which will support the selection of the best transition alternative for climate change adaptation and resilience in the short and long term.
  • Transition Reports for the selected case studies: description of the alternatives for transition given adaptation cost-effective specific measures.

Practical use:

The transition model will help interpreting city scenarios and adaptation options for decision making and definition of resilience strategies will integrate adaptation plans with a transition roadmap.

Figure 2.  Subsystems-elements to take into account in the transition model: Land use planning; Institutional architecture and policies (inter-urban and cross-scale); Lifestyle and behaviour; Economy, investment capacity; Technology development. Must be considered: multi-level, multi-phase, spatial specificities and integrated approach, stakeholder as user  for decision making (Figure modified from the Tyndall Centre for climate change research: Urban Integrated Assessment Framework)

Main contributors:

TECNALIA is is mainly responsible for conducting the work related to this work package.

Expected time span for WP/ deliverables of WP

  • Transition factors description, its dynamics and metrics (end 2015)
  • Transition model (mid 2016)
  • Transition Report for the selected case studies (mid 2017)

Work package 9: Stakeholder Involvement and screening of current adaptation status in cities worldwide

Research message:

This work package mainly aims at screening the current status of climate adaptation in cities in Europe and globally. In addition, stakeholder dialogs with relevant European and partly international stakeholders are organized to share, discuss and further explore the research results of RAMSES.

Main aims:

This work package focuses on gathering relevant information on cities` adaptation needs, especially those related to the project’s research aims. An internal stakeholder survey report, being an intensive survey on adaptation needs of European and international cities, including data from international and European studies as well as qualitative information gathered through phone interviews with relevant city representatives, provides data for achieving the project aims. Based on this data research conducted by consortium partners can be even more focused and has a greater potential to later specifically serve cities’ needs.
In order to remain in close contact with relevant stakeholders, ICLEI together with other consortium partners organizes annual theme specific stakeholder dialogues throughout the project lifetime. Thereby, the research outcomes can be mirrored with the stakeholder’s needs and exchanged.
                         

Main outcomes:

The internal stakeholder survey will provide all research institutions involved in the RAMSES project, with relevant information about cities’ adaptation and mitigation needs, as well as the current status of their adaptation work.
Three stakeholder dialogs with around 25 participants will discuss, share and explore the research results and needs related to adaptation. Each stakeholder dialog will focus on specific themes relevant to the research organizations and the overall project structure. Stakeholders include cities, research institutions, European institutions and many other organizations relevant to the theme of climate change adaptation in cities.
In order to share the RAMSES results with a broader audience and to reach out to non-European cities, three webinars webinars will be organized, focusing on the same topics of the stakeholder dialogs.

Main contributors:

ICLEI is leading all activities related to WP9.
PIK, T6ECO, CMF and TECNALIA are supporting many different tasks.

Expected time span for WP:

The deliverables related to WP9 are delivered throughout the project up to the project end.

Work package 10: Knowledge transfer to city representatives - toolbox, training and audio - visual media

Research message:

How to build a bridge from science to action

Main aims:

To provide diverse instruments for local adaptation work and to present the policy relevant scientific information.

Main outcomes: 

A user-friendly toolbox for policy makers and other stakeholders to assess impacts, adaptation and costs for European cities.
That includes:

  • Handbook
  • Training Package
  • Web-based audio-visual guidance

Practical use:

The whole WP 10 supports the implementation of a successful adaptation 

Main contributors:

CMF, ICLEI, Seneca

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.