Mediterranean demo site

Region of Attica, GR

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Situation:

The region of Attica in Greece has around 3.7 million inhabitants in a 3,8 thousand km2 area that includes the capital Athens, and the surrounding district.

The area has two main rivers, which have been transformed into covered storm water conduits in urban areas and drain into Saronikos Gulf. Attica is a typical Mediterranean region, subject to strong and increasing impacts caused by climate change and other global change drivers and stressed by various factors arising from dense human population and insufficient sustainable management and protection of the natural environment. A new East Attica Wastewater System (EAWS) offers an opportunity to become a circular economy / climate change resilience hub.

PROGNOSIS

370000
inhabitants and tourists annually

Behavioural change among millions of inhabitants and visitors is needed: a pattern of increasing social and economic conflict demands transformative adaptation solutions
and effective communication.

Contact this team | Επικοινωνήστε με αυτήν την ομάδα :

  • Klio Monokrousou – kmonokrousou[@]gmail.com

Issues:

Drought and heatwaves

Water supply and quality

Flash flooding

Ambitions within IMPETUS:

Scale up use of research and innovation solutions in systemic ways

to trigger development of agriculture, industry and tourism, building on existing initiatives.

Develop regional data-driven platform initiatives to create a digital twin

of the region as a hub for data and knowledge.

Set up a regional user-centred Resilience Knowledge Booster

and link RKB with existing innovation and start-up hubs and co-create a regional adaptation pathway.

Bring together local and regional communities of practice

engaging stakeholders in co-creation and co-ownership of solutions, technological and policy pathways and portfolios.

Implement and test selected innovations in key systems and leverage the EAWS

creating innovation demonstrations throughout the region.

Use immersive storytelling and knowledge networks

to enhance open innovation and data-driven policy making catalysed by the digital twin and RKB.

to pave the way for:

Significant medium-to-longer term investments committed

to supporting the adaptation pathway.

Large-scale citizen engagement

based on diversity and social inclusion as key to adaptation and sustainability.

Adoption of IMPETUS adaptation pathway by authorities

Formal engagement of competent authorities in keeping plans up to date

Creation of new ‘green’ businesses around climate change innovations

Test solutions:

Digital Twin for freshwater and marine management

Technology Readiness Level 5-7

Evaluation of climate change risks is traditionally carried out via the crossing of results from impact modelling under different climate scenarios, vulnerability, and exposure assessment. In most planning conditions the risk assessment is generated from the overlapping of different Geographic Information System (GIS) layers; an effective methodology that is not easy for non-technical people to interpret, however, and is difficult to use in stakeholder co-design processes.

In IMPETUS

  • Demonstrate the potential of integrating state-of-the-art GIS representation of multiple variables with advanced 3D visualisation techniques to generate a 4D (3D+time) digital twin of the territory, making visualisation of risk areas and possible impacts much more effective and user friendly;
  • Use the digital twin to bring together data, knowledge, stakeholders and innovators to support design and adoption of adaptation pathways;
  • Use the digital twin to foster business innovations for climate change.

This work is linked with:

  • Greenathon by the Hellenic Ministry of Environment and Energy
  • EU Destination Earth Initiative, DestinE,
  • Water Framework Directive,
  • Digital Single Market Strategy,
  • Netherlands Delta Program,
  • Troms & Finnmark County Marine Spatial Planning programme 2021-2024

Sewer mining

Technology Readiness Level 6-8

Wastewater mined from sewers is treated at point of demand while the sludge is also used to produce fertiliser for local agricultural uses. Recent improvements to the technology were achieved by EYDAP and the Municipality of Athens.

In IMPETUS

  • Demonstrate how sewer mining can expand the use and usages of treated wastewater;
  • Ensure the EAWSystem becomes a trusted and widely used re-use water source.

This work is linked with:

MantisIMS and related online services

Technology Readiness Level 6-8

Mantis Business Innovation has a suite of tools that allow innovation stakeholders to manage operations such as application submissions and evaluations, incubation and progress tracking, community management and so on. The tools have successfully facilitated more than five innovation programs.

In IMPETUS

  • Integrate the MantisIMS platform as part of the infrastructure linked to the Attica digital twin;
  • Provide access through the digital twin and MantisIMS platform to the region’s ‘innovation ecosystem’ of experts and solutions.

This work is linked with:

Economic impact assessment of physical climate risk

Technology Readiness Level 4-5:

Socio-Economic tools and risk projections enable the assessment of climate risks and the establishment of projections and metrics regarding future investments.

In IMPETUS

  • Identify highly vulnerable hot-spots using open datasets for Copernicus services and satellite-derived variables;
  • Transform this knowledge into a specific regional model and include this in the Resilience Knowledge Booster;
  • Use the RKB and regional model to elaborate economic assessment metrics to aid decision making about investments and future mitigation plans.

This work is linked with:

  • European Investment Bank
  • European Central Bank
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High temperatures

Record-breaking summertime temperatures have been recorded in the Netherlands in recent years. With global temperatures rising, such extreme weather events will occur more often, and for longer periods. Prolonged high temperatures, with warm nights as well as hot days, can cause heat stress* and related health issues, particularly among city populations. 

*Heat stress occurs when the human body cannot get rid of excess heat and can impact wellbeing through conditions such as heat stroke, exhaustion, cramps and rashes.

"We want to enable municipality decision makers who are working on spatial developments to identify heat stress 'hot spots' and cool areas, analyse the future effects of climate change, and model the effect of different heat stress-reducing measures. The tool must provide them with an easy starting point to integrate heat stress risks in their projects."

Issue

Despite the cooling effect of the sea in the region of Zeeland, the growing risk of heat stress has become a concern.

Elderly and other vulnerable people are more impacted by the effects of prolonged heat, which can cause headaches, dizziness, insomnia and other health issues – even death. Excess temperatures also affect general comfort and liveability of cities. Water quality can be reduced, both for drinking and swimming, and infrastructure can be affected. Buildings and concrete surfaces trap heat, potentially leading to damage, and release it during the night, keeping temperatures warm.

During heat waves, it is important that everyone has access to a cool and comfortable place. Appropriate spatial planning can help to decrease and deal with heat stress. Environmental factors like water bodies, trees, and shade have a major impact on stress caused by high temperatures. Therefore, planting trees, removing concrete surfaces, creating green roofs and cool spaces can improve our comfort and health. The IMPETUS Atlantic team is developing a digital tool to support regional decision making for city planning to address these needs.

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Flood risk

By 2050, sea-level within this region is predicted to rise by 15-40 cm, with more frequent extreme weather and more (severe) storms triggered by climate change. These changes will exacerbate the natural risk of flooding in the IMPETUS ‘Atlantic’ region, because it is surrounded by rivers and the sea, and is below sea level.

*Risk takes into account two aspects; the chance that an event will occur and the negative impact of such an event once it occurs. When there is a low chance that an event will occur, but its impacts are huge, the risk is still significant.

“In the Netherlands, an extensive system of dikes protects us against sea and river flooding. We have always put our faith in this defence and focused almost solely on flood prevention. However, pressure on our system will increase with climate change and rising sea levels. To adapt and maintain a safe living environment, we should develop other safety measures, like more robust spatial planning and contingency plans."

Issue

Rotterdam city, is located in Rijnmond – ‘mouth of the Rhine’. The Rhine river flows through this densely populated area and characterises the region. Protections such as sea dikes and storm surge barriers have been constructed to protect the region, but flooding still occurs.

People living in the city are accustomed to seeing smaller floods. The changing climate affects the interplay between rainfall, river levels and sea storms, increasing the flooding risk. Water levels could rise by a few metres, even in populated areas, with potentially massive impacts. 

Mitigation measures such as storm surge barriers reduce the chance that high water reaches the city, but to minimise the impact of floods when they do occur, adaptation strategies are also needed. A city that can adapt to be safe from floods must be carefully designed. How best to design such an adaptive city?

Critical infrastructure, such as hospitals and evacuation routes, must be accessible at all times. Planning how to best protect them, homes and lives is complex. Flood water behaves in a complex way and flood risks show strong spatial variations. The IMPETUS Atlantic team is developing a digital tool to support regional decision making for adaptive city planning. 

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Energy and waste water

To become climate-neutral by 2050, climate mitigation* efforts are crucial in our strategy for how to deal with climate change. Reducing our energy consumption is a significant mitigation step. In the Netherlands, 15% of energy is consumed in the Rijnmond area around the port of Rotterdam, in large part by a major petrochemical industry cluster.

*Climate mitigation encompasses measures such as technologies, processes, or practices that reduce carbon emissions or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases.

Issue

The Rotterdam port petrochemical industry cluster is Europe’s largest. It consumes 70% of the Rijnmond region’s energy. A large part of this energy is wasted (64%, 203 petajoules). More than half of that energy is lost with wastewater. In addition, most energy processes within these industries rely on fossil fuels, which has a significant impact on the climate.

Energy use must be minimised and fossil fuels should be replaced by renewable sources if climate change is to be mitigated. Electrification of processes opens up the possibility to use more renewable energy and can greatly impact decarbonisation. Recovering wasted heat would significantly reduce energy consumption and is a first step towards a more circular industry. 

Supporting industries in a transition towards climate-neutrality depends on identifying how best to reduce their carbon footprint without sacrificing production or performance. The IMPETUS Atlantic team is creating a digital tool that supports decision making about pathways towards an effective energy transition for EU industry.