25. 05. 2018
RESILIENCE PERSPECTIVES SEEN FROM PARIS
BY Marc VUILLET, Youssef DIAB and Marie BOCQUENTIN, EIVP
The City of Paris, the Parisian metropolitan area and local stakeholders are highly concerned by the topic of risk and resilience to climate change. Many major accomplishments prove that this involvement is very positive, from the first Climate Action Plan in 2007 to the Resilience Strategy in 2017 and the New Climate and Air Plan in 2018.
Few hazards are particularly concerning for Paris and its area: major flooding of the Seine River, heat waves, fuzzier issues related to air quality, and of course terrorism and safety hazards.
A one-hundred-year flood of the Seine, like the 1910 event, is the most feared hazard in France. The flooding of this river is a slow phenomenon, meaning that the peak discharge could last over a month. It is not likely to cause direct victims, but the impacts on urban infrastructure, buildings and networks would be devastating and will provoke a disaster.
According to a 2014 OECD study, the consequences for the French and European economies would be important. Estimations foresee 3 to 30 billion euros the possible cost of direct damages and a 58.5 billion euro loss of GDP over 5 years. A very large part of these costs would be related to the impacts of dysfunctional networks and urban services as well as the fact that many companies would be forced to cease their activity. Two successive floods of medium importance, of 20 years of occurrence, in 2016 and 2018 recalled the importance of this risk
Several actions have been carried out to anticipate these phenomena: public awareness campaigns; exercises focusing on network service continuity (ECOPE15) or more general ones (Sequana 2016) that include returning to normal conditions, collaborating with European partners, deploying equipment and communicating to the public; the development of theories and strategies such as the strategy for local management of flood risks (in French SLGRI for Stratégies Locales de Gestion du Risque Inondation, UE Floods Directive) or the City’s Resilience Strategy, elaborated within the 100 Resilient Cities network framework. As Mayor Anne Hidalgo says “The City of Paris has long exemplified the values of resilience driven by its motto Fluctuat Nec Mergitur” (English: Tossed but not sunk).
EIVP, Ecole des Ingénieurs de la Ville de Paris, started addressing the question of resilience as early as 2005, following the disaster of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, USA. EIVP administratively forms part of the City of Paris and during the last decade has been involved on multiple national and European research projects: Interreg IVB FloodResilientCity ; FP7 FloodProBE, Interreg IVB JOAQUIN, H2020 RESIN, and H2020 RESCCUE. This was the context in which Marie Toubin an academic from EIVP carried out her PhD work, which became the scientific basis for the HAZUR approach wich is currently being developed in the framework of the RESCCUE project. Beyond this, EIVP also participates in other activities like the national project RGC4 and thesis of Marie Bocquentin. This project aims to better anticipate the conditions under which the technical networks of Paris would function in case of a major flood of the Seine.
Finally, EIVP is thrilled to take host the 5th Project Committee Meeting and also organize a meeting at Paris City Hall on on June 4th, in order to discuss with the Resilience Strategy team of the City of Paris, flood risk management stakeholders, and partners from the project. This meeting will allow participants to introduce each other and to discuss future collaboration opportunities.