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Three digital tools to strengthen the resilience of territories to climate change


The sea level is rising, and temperatures as well as the occurence of extreme climatic phenomena are increasing. Cities need to increase their resilience in response to the impacts of climate change on territories and human activities. As collective intelligence and the sharing of information are both essential to meet this challenge, The White House, the World Bank and the Nature Conservancy NGO have each developed digital tools that are open to all, and aim at better anticipating the effects of climate change and stimulating innovation. What do they have in common? Making data the key decision-support tool to adapt regions to the consequences of climate change.

Credit: ©Thinkstock/vicnt opening up and sharing data on the climate

In September 2016, the American administration opened the online platform PREPdata (the Partnership for REsilience and Preparedness) in a bid to boost efforts to build resilience to climate change. The platform’s goal is to use open data and open source resources to help communities and decision-makers to adapt their territories to the consequences of climate change by providing data from NASA, the NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and other public and private partners. The platform collects information on changes in temperature, episodes of drought and various scenarios of rising water levels.

In addition to sharing information, this platform also aims to increase the engagement of stakeholders in the development of responses to climatic challenges. Both the government and companies, such as Intel and Google, are planning to organise hackathons and data-display competitions to promote the use of this data and stimulate innovation. This open source platform is initially being deployed in the United States, but could be extended to other countries within the next year.

CURB: an urban planning tool to combat CO2 emissions

Cities produce 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions. At the Climate Week in New York in September 2016, the World Bank responded to this observation by presenting CURB (Climate Action for Urban Sustainability), a free tool developed with partners such as the C40 Cities Alliance.

This tool aims to provide every city in the world with data and tools to help them reduce their carbon footprint. By way of example, it can be used to define a climate action plan adapted to local characteristics, to prioritise investments or to set realistic emission targets for a region.

Coastal Resilience: smart coastal maps

How can the specific risks incurred by each coastline be forecast? The NGO Nature Consultancy has addressed this question by developing the Coastal Resilience tool in partnership with public and scientific players in America. Every seaside town can use this tool to consult their key regional data on interactive maps: the density of housing, the nature of the economy, the location of agricultural land, etc.
By comparing these maps with weather forecasts, and forecasts of the rise in water levels in particular, zones at risk can be identified. Recommendations on preventive actions, such as the ecological restoration of the coastline, are also made to strengthen regional resilience.

Screenshot from the Coastal Resilience website

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