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European cities face more extreme weather than previously thought

A landmark study shows the impact of flooding, droughts and heatwaves by 2050-2100 will exceed previous predictions. The research is the outcome of the recently-concluded RAMSES project, where ICLEI worked with scientists and cities to deliver evidence of climate change impacts and the costs and benefits of adaptation measures.

Published last week in the academic journal Environmental Research Letters, the study shows: a worsening of heatwaves for all 571 cities; increasing drought conditions, particularly in southern Europe; an increase in river flooding, especially in north-western European cities; and for the worst projections, increases in all hazards for most European cities.

"Although southern European regions are adapted to cope with droughts, this level of change could be beyond breaking point," Dr Selma Guerreiro, lead author, explains.

European cities will meet at the Open European Day at Bonn Resilient Cities on 25 April 2018 to discuss exactly this objective.

ICLEI Members Helsinki (Finland), Rome (Italy) and Lisbon (Portugal), identified in the RAMSES study, are front and centre in this initiative. Susanna Kankaanpà¤à¤, City of Helsinki will exchange with Thessaloniki (Greece) and Paris (France) on climate change adaptation monitoring and evaluation.

Pierluigi Potenza, Rome, will discuss Protection of Infrastructure with Bristol, Manchester (United Kingdom) and San Sebastian (Spain). Jose Silva Ferreira (Lisbon) will work with Vaxjච(Sweden) and Enschede (Netherlands) to find solutions for Adaptive Water Management.

For the high impact scenario, 98% of European cities could see worse droughts in the future and cities in Southern Europe may experience droughts up to 14 times worse than today.

Lisbon (Portugal) is among the top capital cities for increases in frequency and magnitude of droughts. Of the European capitals, Helsinki (Finland) is among the cities most likely to experience the most extreme rise in flooding. Rome (Italy) is one of the cities likely to see the greatest increase in number of heat-wave days.

"The research highlights the urgent need to design and adapt our cities to cope with these future conditions," says Professor Richard Dawson, co-author and lead investigator of the study.

For more information about the Open European Day, click here.Image copyright: sourced from Flickr more   28 February 2018 Transformative Action Award - transformation that impacts on peopleFor the audience, much of the pleasure of a live award ceremony lies in the reaction of the winner. A genuine moment of joy lifts up the room, and reminds us of the value of recognition and approval. So it was that in front of a packed audience at the European Committee of the Regions in Brussels, the winner of the 2017 Transformative Action Award, Nilà¼fer (Turkey), provided the audience with that transcendent moment "“ genuine shock, followed by earnest happiness.

"I would like to thank the jury one by one!" said Nilà¼fer Municipality Councillor Pelin Sevgi, who accepted the award. "We were competing against some very strong candidates, who put forward very impressive actions, so it's a great honour to receive this award."

In selecting the Turkish city, the jury displayed their appreciation of context in deciding what actions meet the mantle of "transformative". With a backdrop of political challenges at a national level, the Turkish city's work to increase civic engagement was deemed to be the most impressive Transformative Action, as it innovatively addressed the pathways of the Basque Declaration.

The 2018 edition Transformative Action Award was launched on 27 February during the opening day of the Urban Future Conference in Vienna (Austria) by ICLEI Regional Director and Transformative Action Award jury member, Wolfgang Teubner.

The award, organised by ICLEI "“ Local Governments for Sustainability, the Basque Country and the City of Aalborg (Denmark), rewards ongoing or concluded Transformative Actions that use the pathways outlined in the Basque Declaration to achieve the socio-cultural, socio-economic and technological transformation of societies.

The concept of transforming "“ moving from one state to another - is at the forefront of the competition. It requires cities to identify challenges and to implement measures, guided by the pathways of the Basque Declaration, that see urban areas improve. It is this spirit of innovation and change that the Transformative Action Award honours.

"The Transformative Action Award celebrates the ambition of cities and municipalities to create sustainable communities," said Karl Heinz-Lambertz, President of the European Committee of the Regions. "It sends a clear message that local democracy and citizen engagement are the driving force for a sustainable future," he added.

His words were echoed by Cor Lamers, Chair of the ENVE Commission of the European Committee of the Regions and Transformative Action Award jury member, who said: "The Transformative Action Award gives Europe-wide recognition to cities that are leading the way in terms of sustainability. Actions that reduce our environmental impact are urgently needed and this initiative is an invaluable tool to make those actions happen."

The competition is open to any local or regional authority, or civil society organisation located in an EU Member State, EEA country or EU candidate or accession country that has endorsed the Basque Declaration. The applicant must be behind the implementation of the Transformative Action and the Action must have been in place for at least three months, but no longer than five years, at the time of submission. All applications must be submitted in full, in clear English, by 30 June 2018.

Ms. Arantza Acha, fellow jury member and UNESCO Etxea Director, added: "The 2017 Transformative Action Award entrants provided concrete examples of how local, multi-stakeholder dialogue and action, as guided by the pathways of the Basque Declaration, can enhance urban sustainable development and social inclusion. This year I am looking forward to seeing more of such innovative and inspiring actions."

Thomas Kastrup Larsen, Mayor of Aalborg (Denmark) and jury member, shared what he hopes to see from the 2018 entrants: "I look forward to inspiring entries from across Europe, showing the creativity of our cities and regions to make their communities more sustainable and better places to live for all."

Given the dry language of policy measures, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that each action taken has a meaningful impact on people's lives. Moving towards sustainability, at its core, is about creating a better society for people.

At the next award ceremony, the audience is sure to witness the fruits of the winner's policy work resulting in a visible moment of joy.

To endorse the Basque Declaration, and enter a Transformative Action to the competition, visit the Sustainable Cities Platform.Image copyright: TAaward18 by "Mannheim, Germany. Shortlisted candidate TAaward17" more

» Publication Date: 01/03/2018

» Source: Iclei Europe

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