Flood Protection_Shutterstock main

Academics will develop tools for overcoming challenges, and test them in three European cities, Bristol, Lisbon and Barcelona. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

New research to protect cities now and in the future

New work by University of Exeter experts will enable better management of urban services affected by climate change-related hazards. Professors Slobodan Djordjevic, David Butler and Dragan Savic and Dr Albert Chen from the department of Engineering’s Centre for Water Systems have been awarded a major European grant so they can assess how resilient cities are to future scenarios.

As part of the major new study focusing on water they will model how systems for managing waste, transport, energy and telecommunications in urban areas will cope with climate change. Their research will identify the most cost-efficient methods of protecting people and services, and this will help those who run cities to make informed decisions on how to spend money. Academics will develop tools for overcoming challenges, and test them in three European cities, Bristol, Lisbon and Barcelona. If successful these tools will be used in other cities.

The €527,000 research grant is from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. It is part of a project called RESCCUE (RESilience to cope with Climate Change in Urban arEas). RESCCUE involves eighteen partners from Spain, Portugal, France and UK and is coordinated by Spanish companies Aqualogy and Cetaqua.

The University of Exeter’s role will be to lead a Work Package called "Vulnerability & Risk Assessment for Urban Services Operation". Academics will also participate in four other work packages.

Professor Slobodan Djordjevic said: "The Centre for Water Systems already has a strong partnership with the European Commission research programmes and industry through the previous projects we have carried out, such as PREPARED, CORFU and PEARL. I am delighted that this new project builds on this work, and it shows the importance of academics working with industry professionals to examine and mitigate the challenges caused by climate change."

Professor Dragan Savic said: "This is another major research grant in the large portfolio of UK and internationally-funded projects awarded to the researchers in the Centre for Water Systems focusing on urban water management as part of the critical infrastructure systems. It will complement our activities on another Horizon 2020 project EU-CIRCLE, which is developing a pan-European framework for strengthening critical infrastructure (e.g., energy, transportation sectors, buildings, marine and water infrastructure) in supporting the interconnected European infrastructure’s resilience to climate pressures."

Professor David Butler said: "I’m delighted to be a part of this significant European project. As part of my research on Safe & SuRe EPSRC Fellowship I develop new ways of measuring and building resilience and sustainability in urban water systems, and this project will hopefully lead to the wider application of my work."

Date: 2 February 2016

Read more University News