2019 - 2022

While negative impacts of climate-related and other hazards on urban areas are widely discussed, their impacts on historic areas have not been studied extensively enough.  Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation for historic areas, with their unique structure, composition, and set of regulations, call for advanced technologies, models, methods, and tools, either re-used from other domains or custom-developed, as well as the promotion of relevant public policies and participatory governance processes, including residents from local communities and the general public. In addition, ac-cording to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), disaster risk reduction does not register as a priority area for management of World Heritage property, despite the increasing vulnerability of historic areas to hazards.  Therefore, there is a need to increase awareness of climate change impacts and disaster risk reduction on historic areas. Solutions need to address issues of heritage managers and professionals with the objective of including resilience-building strategies into conservation policies. These solutions should also address climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction professionals as well as politicians and the general public, to include historic areas in wider urban resilience strategies.

ARCH will take a step in that direction by providing novel, unified, collaborative approaches for dis-aster risk reduction of historic areas with regard to climate change-related and other hazards. ARCH will utilise – and where necessary extend – tools and methods developed as part of previous research projects, like H2020-RESIN, H2020-SMR, FP7-RAMSES, H2020-SCAN4RECO, IT-PON01-MAS-SIMO, and FP7-CIPRNet.

The overall objective of ARCH is to develop a unified disaster risk management framework for assessing and improving the resilience of historic areas to climate change-related and other hazards, based on the Ten Essentials for Making Cities Resilient , the Sendai action plan , and the Transition Handbook  of the RAMSES project. This will be achieved by developing tools and methodologies that will be combined into a collaborative disaster risk management platform for local authorities and practitioners, the urban population, and (inter)national expert communities.

Scientific objectives:

  • Adapt and improve the Disaster Resilience Scorecard for Cities  to a unified resilience assessment framework for historic areas by identifying and addressing gaps in the original approach with regard to its applicability to historic areas.
  • Design and develop models, methods, tools, and data-sets to support decision making at appropriate stages of the resilience assessment framework.
  • Embed developed models, methods, tools, and data-sets in an overarching disaster risk management framework, based on the Ten Essentials for Making Cities Resilient, the Sendai action plan, and the RAMSES Transition Handbook, and integrate them in a comprehensive information and data platform incorporating decision support and guidance to support the collaborative formulation of sustainable protection and reconstruction strategies by local authorities and practitioners, the urban population, and (inter)national expert communities.
  • Integrate planning and maintenance of heritage assets into the broader planning and maintenance process of the city / district by establishing a holistic approach for disaster risk management.
  • Validate and demonstrate the developed models, methods, tools, and data-sets through case studies with four European cities with different types of heritage assets.

Overall, ARCH aims to make a substantial contribution to strengthening the resilience of Europe’s historic areas to climate change-related and other hazards by supporting decision makers in addressing the specific needs of those areas when formulating sustainable protection and reconstruction strategies. Co-creation of the project outputs between research institutions, public authorities, SMEs, and end users lies therefore at the heart of the ARCH approach.

  • Bratislava (Slovakia), Las Naves (Spain), Camerino (Italy)

Funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Commission under grant no 820999