A lack of appropriate data and integrated risk and resilience frameworks is leading to a poor understanding and awareness of combined weather and climate events.
Together with inefficient tools for participative decision-making, these current deficiencies are having a damaging effect on communities and economies around the world.
Water scarcity and drought experienced over the European summer are expected to become more frequent occurrences; conversely, annual flood losses are also expected to increase.
In the European Union, reported economic losses from weather extremes are already estimated to be €12 billion per year on average.
RMIT University and RMIT Europe are part of a 16-strong consortium aiming to improve our ability to predict and plan for climate-related catastrophes by collaborating on the Co-Creative Improved Understanding and Awareness of Multi-Hazard Risks for Disaster Resilient Society (C2IMPRESS) project.
The €4.1 million research endeavour funded through Horizon Europe will support the development of innovative technologies that increase public understanding and awareness of the numerous risk situations related to extreme weather events.
C2IMPRESS researchers will develop innovative models, methods, frameworks, tools and technologies to enhance decision making when facing extreme weather events linked to climate change, such as cyclones, floods, heatwaves, droughts and wildfires, under different climate scenarios.
Some of the solutions will be tested and validated at four European case study locations – Turkey, Portugal, Greece and Spain – which have been chosen for their distinct climatic and socio-economic variabilities.
RMIT’s work in the project will be led by Dr Dhirendra Singh from the School of Computing Technologies and Dr Erica Kuligowski from the School of Engineering with support from Professor John Thangarajah, also from the School of Computing Technologies.
Together they will develop a decision support tool which integrates human behaviour to better simulate hazards and aid action planning.
“Tools that provide up-to-date intelligence and sophisticated modelling for forecasting and understanding can substantially improve resilience by equipping communities to tackle the impending disasters in the most effective way,” Singh said.
C2IMPRESS will combine research knowledge and expertise, for example in modelling and big data, with a co-creation approach involving citizens – putting people and place at the heart of its research agenda.
One outcome will be an advanced simulation platform called SoS4MHRIN which will incorporate human behaviour, agent-based modelling and simulation capability to allow communities to prepare for multi-hazard threats with more certainty.
The findings from the project are expected to support decision makers in managing and responding to natural hazards – for the good of residents in at-risk communities.
C2IMPRESS is coordinated by Sampaş Holding and includes partners located in Turkey, France, Portugal, Greece, Spain, UK and Australia.
Story: Hannah Tribe