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Special Issue "Urban Resilience in a Context of Climate Change"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Social Ecology and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020) | Viewed by 8881

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Beniamino Russo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Full Professor Escuela Universitaria Politécnica de La Almunia (EUPLA) (Technical College of La Almunia), University of Zaragoza, Spain;
2. Project Manager of R&D+i in AQUATEC (SUEZ Group); Zona Franca Avenue, 46-48, 3rd Floor, 08038, Barcelona, Spain
Interests: urban drainage; inlet efficiency; flood risk management; urban resilience; combined sewer overflows (CSOs)
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Mr. Marc Velasco
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Project Manager of R&D+i in AQUATEC (SUEZ Group) and H2020 RESCCUE Coordinator; Zona Franca Avenue, 46-48, 3rd Floor, 08038, Barcelona, Spain.
Interests: urban resilience; climate change

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We already live in a world of cities, and that trend is expected to continue. While cities are becoming smarter, they can still be very vulnerable and fragile, with basic services failing when different kinds of impacts occur.

Climate change is adding pressures and uncertainties for the economy, the environment, and society in general. In urban areas, climate change may affect urban services, such as water or energy supply. Urban resilience refers to reducing risks and damages from disasters and to the ability to quickly bounce back to a stable state.

In this context, the Urban Resilience in a context of Climate Change (URCC) conference will be held online in October 2020 (www.urcc2020). Organized in the framework of RESCCUE, Europe’s first large-scale innovation and urban resilience project, this event aims to bring together different actors from academia, administrations, businesses, and local communities to discuss multiple aspects of urban resilience and climate change.

This Special Issue of Sustainability calls authors of the abstracts submitted to the URCC Conference to present innovative research papers coming from the scientific activities carried out in recent years that will advance our knowledge/capability in the field of urban resilience and climate change adaptation with special concern on the following topics of the conference:

  • Hazard and risk assessment of key and critical urban services;
  • Climate risk management and resilience in urban areas;
  • From climate data to climate services;
  • Forecasting, monitoring, real-time control, and decision support;
  • Adaptation strategies and nature-based solutions to improve resilience;
  • Institutions, governance, regulations, and planning;
  • Financing for resilience and climate change adaptation;
  • Citizens engagement and social justice;
  • Innovation, capacity building, communication, and data-sharing;
  • Co-production of knowledge, solutions, and services;
  • Risk and challenges to public health.

Dr. Beniamino Russo
Mr. Marc Velasco
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • urban resilience
  • climate change
  • multihazard
  • multirisk
  • cascading effects
  • nature-based solutions
  • adaptation measures
  • resilience and governance

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
The Relevance of Grated Inlets within Surface Drainage Systems in the Field of Urban Flood Resilience. A Review of Several Experimental and Numerical Simulation Approaches
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7189; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137189 - 26 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 824
Abstract
Urban drainage networks should be designed and operated preferably under open channel flow conditions without flux return, backwater, or overflows. In the case of extreme storm events, urban pluvial flooding is generated by the excess of surface runoff that could not be conveyed [...] Read more.
Urban drainage networks should be designed and operated preferably under open channel flow conditions without flux return, backwater, or overflows. In the case of extreme storm events, urban pluvial flooding is generated by the excess of surface runoff that could not be conveyed by pressurized sewer pipes, due to its limited capacity or, many times, due to the poor efficiency of surface drainage systems to collect uncontrolled overland flow. Generally, the hydraulic design of sewer systems is addressed more for underground networks, neglecting the surface drainage system, although inadequate inlet spacings and locations can cause dangerous flooding with relevant socio-economic impacts and the interruption of critical services and urban activities. Several experimental and numerical studies carried out at the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC) and other research institutions demonstrated that the hydraulic efficiency of inlets can be very low under critical conditions (e.g., high circulating overland flow on steep areas). In these cases, the hydraulic efficiency of conventional grated inlets and continuous transverse elements can be around 10–20%. Their hydraulic capacity, expressed in terms of discharge coefficients, shows the same criticism with values quite far from those that are usually used in several project practice phases. The grate clogging phenomenon and more intense storm events produced by climate change could further reduce the inlets’ performance. In this context, in order to improve the flood urban resilience of our cities, the relevance of the hydraulic behavior of surface drainage systems is clear. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience in a Context of Climate Change)
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Article
Multi-Temporal Built-Up Grids of Brazilian Cities: How Trends and Dynamic Modelling Could Help on Resilience Challenges?
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020748 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1163
Abstract
The northeastern Brazilian region has been vulnerable to hydrometeorological extremes, especially droughts, for centuries. A combination of natural climate variability (most of the area is semi-arid) and water governance problems increases extreme events’ impacts, especially in urban areas. Spatial analysis and visualisation of [...] Read more.
The northeastern Brazilian region has been vulnerable to hydrometeorological extremes, especially droughts, for centuries. A combination of natural climate variability (most of the area is semi-arid) and water governance problems increases extreme events’ impacts, especially in urban areas. Spatial analysis and visualisation of possible land-use change (LUC) zones and trends (urban growth vectors) can be useful for planning actions or decision-making policies for sustainable development. The Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL) produces global spatial information, evidence-based analytics, and knowledge describing Earth’s human presence. In this work, the GHSL built-up grids for selected Brazilian cities were used to generate urban models using GIS (geographic information system) technologies and cellular automata for spatial pattern simulations of urban growth. In this work, six Brazilian cities were selected to generate urban models using GIS technologies and cellular automata for spatial pattern simulations of urban sprawl. The main goal was to provide predictive scenarios for water management (including simulations) and urban planning in a region highly susceptible to extreme hazards, such as floods and droughts. The northeastern Brazilian cities’ analysis raises more significant challenges because of the lack of land-use change field data. Findings and conclusions show the potential of dynamic modelling to predict scenarios and support water sensitive urban planning, increasing cities’ coping capacity for extreme hazards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience in a Context of Climate Change)
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Article
Place-Based Citizen Science for Assessing Risk Perception and Coping Capacity of Households Affected by Multiple Hazards
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010302 - 31 Dec 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1441
Abstract
Since hazards act upon vulnerability and exposure to become disasters, the understanding of societal challenges is key for disaster risk reduction. This condition is even more critical when more than one hazard is in place. Taking the case of flooding and water shortage, [...] Read more.
Since hazards act upon vulnerability and exposure to become disasters, the understanding of societal challenges is key for disaster risk reduction. This condition is even more critical when more than one hazard is in place. Taking the case of flooding and water shortage, this study is built upon the premise that disasters are a social phenomenon; therefore, it is essential to comprehend the social context in which they occur. Particularly, this study aims to evaluate the similarities and differences in risk perception and the coping capacity of residents in the multiple-hazard context. For this, a place-based citizen science approach was developed in this study in Campina Grande, a semiarid region of Brazil, with the collaboration of 199 participants. Risk perception and coping capacity were analysed through the citizens’ participation, while combining subjective and objective methods. The results indicate that even though residents have experienced severe flooding and water shortages in the past, they still have low coping capacity. The findings highlight the need to combine a triad of societal challenges, namely information, trust, and incentives, to improve coping capacity in the future and increase resilience. This study underlines the need to understand multiple hazards according to social, spatial, and temporal scales in a socio-spatial perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience in a Context of Climate Change)
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Article
The Economic Impact of Climate Change on Urban Drainage Master Planning in Barcelona
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010071 - 23 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 872
Abstract
In the context of global change, urban drainage infrastructures must be planned considering future challenges such as new climate change and urban growth scenarios. Large cities require master plans to properly rank and schedule infrastructure development. The flood mitigation measures proposed in previous [...] Read more.
In the context of global change, urban drainage infrastructures must be planned considering future challenges such as new climate change and urban growth scenarios. Large cities require master plans to properly rank and schedule infrastructure development. The flood mitigation measures proposed in previous plans must be revised and updated to address future urban challenges with special regard to climate scenarios. Regarding risk assessment, there is no linear relationship between an increase in rainfall and an increase in risk value. For risk management, the relationship between an increase in rainfall increase and the budget for mitigation measures is even more complex. To investigate this relationship and the economic impact of the aforementioned update, a new plan should be elaborated. Urban drainage master plans have been developed in Barcelona city for the last 50 years. In terms of rainfall, the impact of climate change has been established to be an increase of 7–26% at peak intensity, depending on rainfall duration. The Integral Drainage Master Plan of Barcelona (PDISBA) addresses these new challenges. The modification of rainfall scenario planning and the typology of mitigation measures result in an important rise in investment budget, infrastructure life cycle, and operation and maintenance budgets for said infrastructure. The total cost of the planned measures outlined in the PDISBA has risen to €1.442 million, nearly double that of the previous plan developed in 2006. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience in a Context of Climate Change)
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Article
Resilience Assessment Framework for Nature Based Solutions in Stormwater Management and Control: Application to Cities with Different Resilience Maturity
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 10040; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122310040 - 01 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 708
Abstract
Cities face unprecedented demographic, environmental, economic, social, and spatial challenges. In recent years, the implementation of nature-based solutions (NBS) is becoming more relevant in cities to improve urban resilience and to cope with climate change. NBS represent cost effective solutions that simultaneously provide [...] Read more.
Cities face unprecedented demographic, environmental, economic, social, and spatial challenges. In recent years, the implementation of nature-based solutions (NBS) is becoming more relevant in cities to improve urban resilience and to cope with climate change. NBS represent cost effective solutions that simultaneously provide environmental, social, and economic benefits and help build resilience. A comprehensive and multi-dimension Resilience Assessment Framework (RAF) to evaluate the NBS contribution to urban resilience, focused on NBS for stormwater management and control, was developed. This RAF is aligned with the RESCCUE RAF and the main assessment frameworks focused on NBS and urban resilience. This RAF for NBS is driven by the definition of resilience objectives and is able to evaluate short- and long-term changes, considering a comprehensive definition of the urban resilience and addressing the environmental, social, and economic capabilities. Regarding the initial resilience maturity and the available information in the city, three analysis degrees were proposed for the RAF application, namely, the essential, complementary, and comprehensive degrees, for which a pre-defined selection of metrics is proposed. This paper aims to present the application of the RAF essential analysis degree and its extensive validation regarding cities with different resilience maturity and available information. The application to seven cities with different resilience and NBS challenges allowed an in-depth validation of the pre-defined metrics included in the RAF essential analysis. In this sense, the analysis of the resilience maturity of the participating cities is presented, the main challenges and consolidated aspects in the cities are identified, and the cities ready to apply the complementary analysis degree are recognized. To conclude, to validate the essential analysis degree, the assessment of the main requirements of the RAF for NBS are verified, based on the RAF metrics results for the cities. In this light, the main requirements of the RAF for NBS were aggregated in three main categories, namely, NBS aspects, resilience capabilities, and the performance, risk and cost analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience in a Context of Climate Change)
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Communication
Increased Urban Resilience to Climate Change—Key Outputs from the RESCCUE Project
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 9881; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12239881 - 26 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1348
Abstract
RESCCUE is an H2020 research project that aims to help cities around the world to become more resilient to physical, social, and economic challenges, using the water sector as the central point of the approach. Since 2016, RESCCUE has been developing methodologies and [...] Read more.
RESCCUE is an H2020 research project that aims to help cities around the world to become more resilient to physical, social, and economic challenges, using the water sector as the central point of the approach. Since 2016, RESCCUE has been developing methodologies and tools to support cities increase their resilience. The three RESCCUE cities, Barcelona, Bristol, and Lisbon, have become a testing platform for the cutting-edge technologies developed in RESCCUE but these are also ready to be deployed to different types of cities, with different climate change pressures. This paper presents some of the main outputs generated by RESCCUE. From climate change scenarios to dissemination tools, and from sectorial models to Resilience Action Plans (RAPs), the outputs that have been produced are very diverse, but special focus is put on the urban water cycle and urban floods. All the project results have a common goal: to increase the resilience of cities from around the world, by offering the methodologies and tools so anyone can take advantage of using them and replicate the RESCCUE results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience in a Context of Climate Change)
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Article
Following a Step by Step Development of a Resilience Action Plan
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9017; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12219017 - 30 Oct 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1016
Abstract
According to the United Nations, by 2030, 60% of the world’s population will live in cities, and 70% by 2050. Both consolidated and fast urbanizing areas face diverse acute shocks from natural disasters and long-term stresses, such as the effects of climate change. [...] Read more.
According to the United Nations, by 2030, 60% of the world’s population will live in cities, and 70% by 2050. Both consolidated and fast urbanizing areas face diverse acute shocks from natural disasters and long-term stresses, such as the effects of climate change. Therefore, there is a need for cities to implement plans for increasing resilience and improving preparedness to cope with both acute shocks and long-term stresses. Development of resilience action plans (RAP) constitutes an important process for the cities to plan their resilience enhancement in the long, medium, and short terms. These are key tools for the city, considering the associated complexity, uncertainties, data scarcity, interdependencies among urban services provided in the city, as well as involved stakeholders. Herein, a framework is presented to support city resilience action planning related to climate change through a multisector approach. The framework was applied step by step to three cities—Barcelona, Bristol, and Lisbon—and their RAPs to climate change provide roadmaps for resilience, having the urban water cycle as the core. In these plans, urban services are included, given their interactions and contributions to city’s resilience. Addressed services are water supply, wastewater, storm water, waste, electric energy, and mobility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience in a Context of Climate Change)
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Article
Assessing Urban Resilience in Complex and Dynamic Systems: The RESCCUE Project Approach in Lisbon Research Site
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 8931; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12218931 - 27 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 936
Abstract
Urban environments are challenged with unprecedented anthropogenic and natural pressures, the latter being accelerated by the growing awareness of the consequences of climate change. The concept of urban resilience has been growing in response, since it allows us to understand city behaviour as [...] Read more.
Urban environments are challenged with unprecedented anthropogenic and natural pressures, the latter being accelerated by the growing awareness of the consequences of climate change. The concept of urban resilience has been growing in response, since it allows us to understand city behaviour as a system of systems, improving its response to extreme climate-related events. This paper presents the EU H2020 Resilience to Cope with Climate Change in Urban Areas (RESCCUE) project approach in Lisbon’s research site, regarding the Hazur® resilience assessment methodology. This methodology focuses on the interdependencies between services and infrastructures, and on the recovery times needed to restore its normal functionalities. This approach allows the integration of several work packages of the RESCCUE project, from climate change projections to adaptation strategies selection. The assessment was conducted for 19 services and 146 infrastructures, including water (supply and drainage systems), power, mobility, waste, telecommunication, environment, and the social sector. The principal climate-related hazard analysed at the Lisbon research site was urban flooding. The main result consists of a deep understanding of the relations between different services and the consequent cascade effects triggered by flooding events. Stakeholders’ involvement, beyond the project consortium, was fundamental for the success of the methodology implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience in a Context of Climate Change)
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