This project has recived funding from European Comission by means of Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, under Grant Agreement no. 700174

Barcelona, a resilient city


Barcelona, a resilient city

  • - More than 70 representatives of city councils, public administrations, universities and private companies from local and national level have attended the virtual presentation of the results of the application in Barcelona of the solutions proposed by the RESCCUE project to improve the resilience of the city.

RESCCUE, the first large-scale European research and innovation project on urban resilience, led by Suez, has organized the online event "Barcelona, resilient city" on 10th November. In this meeting, the main results of the Barcelona case study have been presented to local stakeholders with the aim of promoting its application in other cities.

Currently, more than half of the world's population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase significantly in the coming years. In these areas, the impacts of climate change can affect basic urban services such as water or energy supply. Consequently, the impact of each extreme event depends on the preparedness of cities to respond to these threats. Therefore, cities are taking more and more measures to become more resilient, it is, to anticipate, resist and recover from climate change-related impacts with the least possible damage.

In this context, the RESCCUE project has provided a set of models and tools to analyse urban resilience based on a multi-sector approach that integrates the different urban services. The models and tools developed by RESCCUE have been validated in three different cities: Barcelona, Lisbon and Bristol, where the first application of the results has been carried out to guarantee that the final product is complete, of quality and easy to apply in other cities.

In Barcelona, RESCCUE has provided the city with the knowledge and information necessary to update and improve its Climate Plan. Within this case study, which has involved Suez, Cetaqua, the Water Technology Centre, Barcelona City Council, UN-Habitat, the Foundation for Climate Research (FIC), the Institute for Energy Research of Catalonia (IREC), the University of Exeter and Endesa, one of the most outstanding results has been the better understanding of the links between the city's services to address climate events. These results will be used to plan climate adaptation actions, such as the implementation of different nature-based solutions to retain a greater amount of water during future extreme and moderate rainfall events by reducing the impacts of flooding and pollution on the receiving environment.

During the meeting, the importance of urban resilience for Barcelona was emphasised, as well as the need for collaboration between all the stakeholders involved and, in particular, the public-private collaboration between public administrations and urban service operators to face climate change together.

RESCCUE: Collaboration to stop climate change

The RESCCUE project has contributed to the development of solutions for improving the resilience of cities and addressing climate change through the cooperation of 17 partners. An example of collaboration framed in a European research project that allows a close implementation of the R+D+i to the market, providing solutions that bring us closer to the objectives of the European Green Deal.

Under the leadership of Suez, the RESCCUE project consortium is made up of the city councils of the three cities in which its results have been validated: Barcelona, Lisbon and Bristol; the United Nations agency UN-Habitat; urban services companies, such as Endesa, EDP Distribuição, Águas de Portugal and Wessex Water; the research centers Cetaqua, Water Technology Center, the Foundation for Climate Research (FIC), the National Laboratory of Civil Engineering (LNEC) and the Institute for Energy Research of Catalonia (IREC); the University of Exeter and the École des Ingénieurs de la Ville de Paris (EIVP) from the academic world and the SMEs Hidra and UrbanDNA.

On 20th and 21th October, RESCCUE organised the online conference Urban Resilience in a context of Climate Change (URCC), in which nearly 550 professionals from over 60 different countries addressed urban resilience and climate change from different perspectives.

This event identified the need for a holistic and multi-sectoral approach to improve the resilience of cities. It also highlighted the role of the RESCCUE project as a catalyst in the field of urban resilience, being a starting point of reference in Europe that now the different key actors present at the conference must take over in order to move towards increasingly resilient cities.