01. 02. 2017

The origins of the RESCCUE Project


In March 2015, the call DRS-9c of the EC Horizon 2020 Funding Programme opened, presenting a very interesting framework to develop an innovation action: “Disaster Resilience & Climate Change topic 1: Science and innovation for adaptation to climate change: from assessing costs, risks and opportunities to demonstration of options and practices”.

After several years working on the CORFU Project, studying flood resilience in urban areas, we (the teams of Aquatec and Cetaqua) had no doubt that DRS-9c was the perfect place to continue the work done in Barcelona during the last four years.

At the same time, several crucial milestones were occurring in Barcelona: the city was elected as one of the 100 Resilient Cities within the Rockefeller Foundation funding programme; the UN-Habitat City Resilience Profiling Programme established its headquarters in Barcelona; the International Workshop on Barcelona’s Experience on Resilience showed the leading position of Barcelona public and private entities regarding resilience; and the BCN Urban Resilience Partnership managed to establish an alliance of all the urban actors of the city.

On that spring of 2015, we had no doubt: it was the time and the place to start a huge consortium to work on resilience in a holistic way, including actors of the public and private sectors, SMEs and Universities, including all the urban services existent in the city.

It was not easy, mails and mails, meetings and meetings, but day after day, the RESSCUE consortium was taking its actual shape. First, we had to prepare a strong Barcelona consortium and in order to do that, we included the Barcelona City Council in the loop. With their support, the rest was way easier, being able to easily contact with all the public and private urban operators, including some of them as stakeholders and Endesa as partner of the consortium.

Then, we had to expand the research sites. Barcelona was not enough and therefore, we decided to include two more cities that also belong to the 100 RC network. Taking into account the past collaborations with the University of Exeter (CORFU Project) and LNEC (Bingo Project), the decision was easy: Bristol and Lisbon also had to be on board.

In these two cities, the process was the same than in Barcelona: when the municipalities joined the team, the rest came along easily, so the following partners also joined the consortium: having Bristol and Lisbon City Councils, SUEZ Advanced Solutions UK, EDP – Energias de Portugal and AdP – Águas de Portugal.

With that, there were only a few things missing, which is why we decided to include teams of experts of several fields, such as FIC, IREC, Opticits, Urban DNA, Hidra and EIVP, whose role was not directly linked to one research site, but more transversal. Last but not least, UN-Habitat were the last ones joining the consortium, with a key role in validating the RESCCUE approach and providing their expertise in resilience.

Obviously, there were more and more mails, meetings and lots and lots of hours working on the proposal. Some of us could not even have a regular summer holiday. But finally, the proposal was submitted, the team was complete and the only thing we could do was wait.

We waited and waited and waited, and finally the resolution appeared: proposal accepted! We can only say that the work was worth it and that we are certain that RESCCUE is going to be a great success. Luckily, now it is not only us, and working all together we will make an imprint on resilience.