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

Urban resilience, the key to the future of cities


Urban resilience, the key to the future of cities

More than 400 representatives of public administrations, universities and companies from different countries discussed urban resilience and climate change in a two-day virtual meeting organized by the European RESCCUE project.


RESCCUE, the first large-scale European research and innovation project on urban resilience, led by SUEZ, has organized the online conference Urban Resilience in a context of Climate Change. This encounter, held on October 20 and 21, has brought together more than 400 professionals from the academic world, administrations, companies and local communities to exchange knowledge and share challenges and solutions in cities, with a special focus on European urban areas.

Currently, more than half of the world's population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase in the coming years. In cities, the impacts of climate change can affect basic urban services, such as water or energy supply, which makes the repercussions of each crisis depend on the preparation of cities to respond to these threats. Therefore, cities are taking more and more measures to be more resilient, that is, to anticipate, resist and recover with the least possible damage in the face of climate change-related impacts.

In this sense, the URCC conference has been an opportunity to address this issue from different perspectives: from climate risk evaluation and management to the development of new prevention and real-time control systems and decision-making tools, including co-creation of knowledge, governance, social justice or public health, among others.

The event began with a virtual welcome by the conference presidents: Marc Velasco, Project Manager at SUEZ and coordinator of the RESCCUE project, and Esteban León, head of the UN-Habitat City Resilience Global Program, along with Manuel Valdés, Deputy Manager on Mobility and Infrastructures of the Barcelona City Council. In their speeches, they highlighted the importance of urban resilience for the future of cities, the need to collaborate from different spheres to advance together, and the need for forums such as the URCC.

In addition, the role of the RESCCUE project as a catalyst in the field of urban resilience has been emphasized, being a starting point of reference in Europe that now the different key actors present at the conference must take over to move towards more resilient cities.

After the welcome words, the participants enjoyed 16 sessions with about 80 presentations spread over two days. Likewise, they also attended two plenary sessions in which representatives of entities such as the European Commission, the Ministry of Ecological Transition of Spain, UN-Habitat or the Urban Resilience research Network (URNet), among others, participated.

The conference, with an organizing committee made up of UN-Habitat, the Barcelona City Council, SUEZ and Cetaqua, also had a Scientific Committee with more than 20 specialists from different fields for the selection of the interventions.

RESCCUE, a project that seeks to make cities more resilient

RESCCUE is a project funded by the Horizon 2020 Program of the European Commission that aims to improve the resilience of cities.

RESCCUE, which ends with this conference, has made it possible to provide a set of models and tools to analyze urban resilience based on a multisectoral approach that overcomes the current difficulties related to the lack of information on the integration of different urban services. These models and tools have been validated in three different cities: Barcelona, ​​Lisbon and Bristol, where the first application of the results has been made to guarantee that the final product is complete, of quality and easy to apply in other cities.

In this sense, RESCCUE has developed the RESCCUE Toolkit (available soon), an interactive platform where the main results of the project are collected, from databases to methodologies, along with guidelines that describe the steps to follow to apply them in other cities.

Under the leadership of SUEZ, the RESCCUE project consortium is made up of the city councils of the three cities where 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; research centres as Cetaqua, the Water Technology Center, the Climate Research Foundation (FIC), the National Civil Engineering Laboratory (LNEC) and the Catalonia Energy Research Institute (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.


Images: here