CREW Project Management

Lead Research Organisation: Cranfield University
Department Name: Sch of Applied Sciences

Abstract

The aim of the research is to develop a set of tools for improving the capacity for resilience of local communities to the impacts of extreme weather events.This will require the identification of potential EWE scenarios and modelling toolkits which allow decision makers to evaluate their potential impacts (Evidence), to develop intervention strategies and to manage the impacts (Decision Making) on the ground. In the development of such a toolkit, consideration needs to be given to both its strategic use for community resilience planning and its operational use to assist communities to recover following an EWE event. It therefore requires a detailed understanding of both, how decision makers may use EWE predictions, and how communities may react to EWE events. The wider research programme will develop and test a range of tools that support a greater understanding of the strategic issues that affect local community resilience to EWEs and provide the basis for the development of effective intervention (coping) measures for the community through local policy makers, households and businesses. The programme will use a stakeholder-led, multi-disciplinary, participatory research approach where scientists, social scientists, management scientists, engineers and geographers will work with end users to test and refine academic solutions against real life situations. This approach will ensure that programme outputs are immediately appropriate to end-users' needs. Scenarios and modelling toolkits which will allow decision makers to evaluate their potential impacts, to develop intervention strategies and to manage the impacts on the ground. In the development of such a package, consideration needs to be given to both its strategic use for community resilience planning and its operational use to assist communities to recover following an EWE event. To develop this package thus requires a detailed understanding of both how decision makers may use EWE predictions and how communities may react to EWE events. The plan for this research programme is to develop and test a range of tools that support a greater understanding of the strategic issues that affect local community resilience to EWEs and provide the basis for the development of effective intervention (coping) measures for local policy makers, households and businesses (SMEs). In order to address this aim the programme will use a stakeholder-led, multi-disciplinary research approach in which scientists, social scientists, management scientists, engineers and geographers will work with end users through a participatory approach in which academic solutions are tested and refined against real life situations. Through this approach it is believed that the outputs from the research programme will be immediately appropriate to end-users' needs.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Community Resilience to Extreme Weather - the CREW Project 
Description Video summarising the final general assembly and conference for the CREW project. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2011 
Impact Video used as a common reference point in outlining the CREW project to interested parties. Video is online and has received many views. 
URL http://www.extreme-weather-impacts.net/
 
Description 'Community Resilience to Extreme Weather' (or CREW) was an EPSRC-funded research project, established in 2008 to develop a set of tools for improving the capacity for resilience of local communities to the impacts of future and future extreme weather events. It comprises a series of linked projects forming a broad consortium of some 40 researchers, drawn across 14 Universities. The research focussed upon a case study area of five local authorities in London, to the south of the River Thames, namely Croydon, Bromley, Lewisham, Greenwich, and Bexley. As a study area, these boroughs comprise the 'South- East London Resilience Zone' (SELRZ). The SELRZ area is of economic significance and part of the strategic London Plan (Mayor of London, 2008), which states that the effects of climate change should be incorporated into the development of the 55,000 additional homes and 100,000 new jobs planned up to 2026. CREW was established to gain a better understanding of the effects of future climate change on extreme weather events and associated hazards, and to develop a range of tools for improving local-community resilience. Previous initiatives, such as the Stern Review (Stern, 2006), had considered high-level socio-economic impacts, but had not addressed sub-regional or local estimates pertinent at the community and individual scale.

The CREW research therefore sought to address the needs of a range of key beneficiaries and stakeholders including: (1) decision makers for community resilience; (2) property owners and householders, insurance companies and the building industry; (3) small to medium sized business enterprises (SMEs) such as housing associations, and (4) the research community.

CREW consequently investigated observed and potential local-level impacts on householders, SMEs and local policy/decision makers from a range of extreme weather-related hazards including flooding, subsidence, heat waves, wind storms and drought. The research has sought to investigate opportunities and limitations for local communities' adaptive capacity, considering the decision making processes across communities and the impediments and drivers of societal change. A web-portal, www.extreme-weather- impacts.net, provides projections of potential hazard occurrence for a range of future scenarios from UK Climate Projections (UKCP09) for the near- to mid-21st century, together with evaluations of coping mechanisms for building design in addressing the adverse effects of heat waves.
Specifically, CREW has sought to follow an interdisciplinary approach, seeking to:
a) develop and apply new implementations of the UKCP09 weather generator to produce spatially-consistent, high-resolution, catchment and city-scale time series of current and future climate for the SE London Resilience Zone (SELRZ) study area;
b) gain a better understanding of the impacts of EWEs (current and future) on local communities, based on three community group: householders, SMEs and decision makers;
c) integrate social and physical research to develop an improved understanding of risk from EWEs at the community level;
d) study the complex inter-relationships between community groups in order to improve the understanding of risks, vulnerabilities, barriers and drivers that affect the resilience of a local community to extreme weather events;
e) quantify and rank a number of technical and adaptive coping measures for reducing vulnerability to the extreme weather effects of heat waves;
f) develop web-based information dissemination tools for integrating the project outputs. These deliver maps, reports and guidance on impacts and resilience measures for extreme weather.

The CREW research programme has been broad ranging and as such has secured achievements and impacts across many disciplines with over 50 publications and presentations (see Appendix Two) secured together with representations made to several influential committees and agencies. A wide engagement with industry, health practitioners, and policy makers at local, as well as national levels has benefited both the research team and the stakeholders alike.

A key outcome of CREW has been the development of the UKCP09 weather generator approach to produce spatially consistent high-resolution catchment and city-scale simulations of current and future climate for the SELRZ. This work has underpinned the development of a series of hazard models exploring projections for periods centred on the 2020's and 2050's, compared to the current time. This has included, for example, the development of detailed models for pluvial/fluvial flood at the local scale. Soil subsidence models were prepared to show the likely impacts of clay-related subsidence, whilst heat wave models have drawn on land use information as well as other factors to produce future estimates of heat events across London and producing mapped vulnerability and risk indices as outputs. Model simulations for exploring water resource drought have been produced that provide projections of water saving measures, such as the implementation of hosepipe bans, considering the effects of both water supply (climate and hydrology) and demands (population change). UKCP09 climate projections with particular probabilities were used to generate corresponding hazard projections, identified using a range of user-relevant thresholds. A notable achievement has been in how uncertainty in future hazards has been captured and represented to the various stakeholder groups.


The research has facilitated the development of a risk assessment framework for improved community scale decision-making and has led to a greater understanding of the issues faced by SMEs in interpreting extreme weather scenarios and in developing contingency plans to reduce their vulnerability, improving resilience and adaptive capacity. The risk assessment framework developed was supported by technical evidence of coping strategies as well as related field work drawing upon these inputs. The research has allowed for a greater understanding of the issues faced by local policy planners in preparing community level assessment plans for extreme weather events and has further led to a greater understanding of the inter-relationships between households, SMEs and local authority policy makers. For example, we have helped develop the first empirical model to quantify the negative effect that flood risk has on employment, and how this relationship will vary depending on the spatial concentration of employment (Chapter Four). This work has been facilitated through the integration of climate model output with high-resolution hazard models and the portrayal of these outputs utilising a web mapping geographical information system (GIS) interface.

The CREW research has led to a fruitful critical literature review being published concerning the shortcomings in existing theoretical and methodological frameworks as identified when applied to a world characterised by global climate change. This work has further led to the development of a published theoretical framework, grounded in the economic psychology and sociology of risk literatures that draws together the links between risk-adjusted house prices, observed house prices and flood risk, and posits how these relationships are likely to change in the context of climate change. The research has also led to an estimation of the first models of the effect of flood risk on house prices and employment, taking into account feedback effects from and to each sector. We also take into account spatial spill-overs - how changes in house prices and employment in one area can have knock on effects on surrounding areas not directly affected by flood risk.

Considering the development of coping measures for community adaptation, for the first time CREW has offered a systematic and quantitative assessment of passive coping measures for heat waves which will vastly improve building adaptation/retrofit decisions. Taking human factors into consideration, the CREW research has revealed
the major importance of occupancy for building adaptation design options and has revealed the interaction between mitigation and adaptation - some mitigation measures would undermine adaptation, and vice versa. It has been shown how this could be prevented with minimum cost and disruption where mitigation and adaptation are both considered together.

Lastly, the CREW research programme has allowed the deployment of an interdisciplinary web-based portal designed to integrate information, model results and qualitative information summaries from the research outputs from the other programme packages. Key achievements include not only the use of the web-portal toolkit to represent phenomena indicative of the conditions prevailing under a range of uncertain future climates, but also the successful drawing together of coherent information representing the social sciences, atmospheric sciences, earth sciences, hydrological sciences and engineering disciplines. Use of the web-portal toolkits to support the project's stakeholder engagement activities has also represented an important achievement, where decision makers, SMEs and householders were able to utilise the functionality of the WISP tools to aid communication and understanding, guided by the project facilitator. Further to this, the engagement with user groups in CREW meetings and general assemblies have allowed the researchers to take on board and reflect stakeholder viewpoints. CREW has thus led to the development of 'real-world' tools that communicate effectively the many scientific outputs to affected parties.

Overall, CREW represented an ambitious, interdisciplinary programme of research focussing on the issues of community responses to extreme weather events in the SELRZ study area, coordinated to draw together the inter-disciplinary research undertaken. The research has also produced a transformative template which, looking forward, can now equally be applied in and transferred to other metropolitan regions of the UK to provide guidance in planning for adaptation and community resilience to extreme weather events.
Exploitation Route CREW considered the impacts of extreme weather on communities and small businesses, and the decision making process at this scale. An important element of the research considered geohazard modelling and the consequences of climate change.

One obvious development forwards for the research activity, is to consider the impacts of these changes on the wider built environment and the planning process for the provision of infrastructure. This is something that a number of the research team have gone on to do in the ITRC 'Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium' project (http://www.itrc.org.uk).
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Construction,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Transport

URL http://www.extreme-weather-impacts.net
 
Description Examples of impact include: Numerous accesses to the publicly available final report and videos from the CREW project (http://www.extreme-weather-impacts.net). Presentations and case studies provided to the Climate Change Committee's 'Adaptation Sub-Committee Secretariat. Presentations to the South East London Local Resilience Forum (SELLRF) and related stakeholders. CREW Project (2011) BBC Radio 4. 'You and Yours' interview 'The CREW Project', following the CREW Project Final General Assembly. Article broadcast on 5/11/11 on BBC Radio 4 'You and Yours'. Some 50+ publications, presentations, meetings and papers, referenced in the CREW project final report, online at http://www.extreme-weather-impacts.net.
First Year Of Impact 2011
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Construction,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Transport
Impact Types Societal

 
Description EPSRC Impact Acceleration Award - Future-proofing the Cranfield Natural Perils Directory (NPD): Incorporating UKCP09 data into soil-related geohazard models
Amount £15,443 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/K503927/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2014 
End 10/2014
 
Description EPSRC Impact Acceleration Award - Understanding resilience and interdependencies of UK road and rail infrastructure
Amount £20,228 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/K503927/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2015 
End 06/2017
 
Title CREW 
Description Collection of research data pertaining to CREW project, relating to community resilience to extreme weather and climate change in SE. London. Daa comprises climate projections, geohazard assessments and geo-demographic data. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2013 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact 'What-If Scenario' toolkits developed to draw on this data and placed on project web portal for public access 
URL http://www.extreme-weather-impacts.net
 
Description Soil Geohazard Assessments - Contribution to EPSRC-funded ITRC Consortium 
Organisation University College Oxford
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Cranfield research team able to recruit a PhD student and to work alongside members of ITRC Consortium Work Package 2, Geohazard modelling
Collaborator Contribution A series of working papers and publications relating to soil-related impacts on built environment and infrastructure.
Impact Pritchard, O., Hallett, S.H. and Farewell, T.S. (2014) Cracking the problem: Soil impacts on Lincolnshire roads. Geoscientist. March, 2014, Vol 24, No. 2, pp 14-19. Pritchard, O., Hallett, S.H. and Farewell, T.S. (2014) Soil Impacts on UK Infrastructure: current and future climate. Proc. ICE - Engineering Sustainability, Vol 167, Issue 4, 0-1, pp170-184. DOI 10.1680/ensu.13.00035.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Meeting with South East London Local Resilience Forum (SELLRF) - 17/6/08 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact To meet with the South East London Local Resilience Forum (SELLRF) at Woolwich Town Hall, London on 17/6/2008 to discuss the CREW project and its outcomes and to learn how issues of extreme weather impacted upon local communities and what mitigation and adaptation measures could be put in place. Meeting led by Dr D.Thomas


The meeting informed the 'Work Package 2' activities seeking to capture the impacts of extreme weather on local communities and decision makers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
URL http://www.extreme-weather-impacts.net
 
Description Meeting with the Climate Change Committee's 'Adaptation Sub-Committee' Secretariat - 25/11/2010 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The aim of the meeting was to present the scope of the CREW project to the committee, providing provisional results to date. Presentations for each of the programme packages were made followed by a question and answer session. Discussion ranged on the impacts of the research to the concerns pressing on policy makers seeking to plan for the effects of a changing climate on society.


Case studies were provided to the committee arising from the research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
URL http://www.extreme-weather-impacts.net
 
Description Participation in ARCC workshop - 28/1/2010 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact The ARCC network meeting attended was designed to promote inter-working practices between related EPSRC programme grants, as well as to draw on the views of other practitioner delegates. I outlined the CREW work, leading to a stimulating discussion as to the similarities and parallel challenges faced by other academic consortia projects.

The meeting led to ongoing correspondences with academics from other EPSRC funded programmes, as well as ARCC delegates, which lasted throughout the CREW project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
URL http://www.extreme-weather-impacts.net
 
Description Speaker at 'Emergency Planning for Severe Weather', Capita conference, London - 15/10/2010 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Emergency Planning for Severe Weather Conference was billed to 'equip delegates with the skills and capacity to support local communities to prepare an effective emergency response to extreme weather events and the impacts of climate change'. My role was to speak about the CREW research and to seek to stimulate discussion, and to draw on our outcomes in order to inform decision making by the professional practitioner delegates.

The talk led to ongoing correspondence with a number of the delegates, and an increased interest in the project web portal http://www.extreme-weather-impacts.net.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
URL http://www.extreme-weather-impacts.net