Linking controversy maps with stakeholder needs

In our meeting in London we discussed about the addressees of the emapping products. The workshop on ageing gave some first impressions how people react to the maps and how they might be used in providing information and in decision-making processes. This can be the starting point for the identification of stakeholder needs and especially decision-maker needs in the climate change adaptation strand of the project.
Decision-makers in the area of climate change adaptation can be found at all spatial levels:

  • global/international: development policies, funding adaptation measures, adaptation vs. mitigation etc.
  • national: development of national adaptation strategy, allocation of adaptation funds in highly vulnerable areas (hot spots), identification of vulnerable sectors (water, biodiversity, urban development, agriculture, …) etc.
  • regional: appropriate design and selection of adaptation measures such as lowering the urban heat island effect by supporting networks of green areas, water, cold air streams (examples: London, Paris, Ruhr area); support freshwater supply for new housing and industrial development (example: South East England); avoid future development in climate-triggered extreme events like flash floods or river flooding (example: PPR – Plans de Prévention des Risques Naturels in France or implementation of the EU Floods Directive at river catchment areas)
  • local: urban design and management, adapt cities to climate change (e. g. parks, green roofs, avoid development in hazard-prone areas), smart growth etc.

EMAPS project partners have access to various stakeholders in some of the Member States and throughout Europe due to their participation in various projects at the European (e. g. ESPON Climate or MOUNTAIN RISKS), national (comparison of national adaptation strategies), regional (regional climate change adaptation strategies) and local level (urban development strategies for climate change adaptation).

The CHANGES project which runs in parallel to the EMAPS project is promising in this respect, too, as it will be carried out in four European case study areas (France, Italy, Poland, Romania) with decision-makers, the public and research teams involved. These groups could be involved into the iterative development process of mapping climate change controversies, especially in the following steps:

  • identification of users (regional, urban decision-makers, the public, researchers)
  • dissemination of maps (by EMAPS project)
  • re-interpretation of maps (by users)
  • collection of feedback (incl. user needs)
  • use in decision-making practice (by users again)

Dortmund will be able to set up contacts between EMAPS and CHANGES as both projects seem to be complementary to each other very much. According to the lessons learnt from the London workshop on ageing the case study approach seems to be promising as people find visualisations more interesting when they map a territory that they already know and local maps seem to be more interesting than global maps.
The structure of the CHANGES project as a Marie Curie Action offers another interesting opportunity for co-operation as the visualisation and communication of environmental changes is subject of three post-doc positions that are potentially interesting for EMAPS project partners and members of the research teams:

  • Development of risk communication and visualisation tools: This post-doc position is oriented to the development of software tools for risk communication and visualisation which could either be web-based or more oriented to innovative communication tools such as planning games. The post-doc will work closely together with PhD students that provide the components for these tools and with both full network partners as private companies specialised in software development. Vacancy announcement: (application deadline: 25 July 2012).
  • Development of web-based tool for probabilistic risk assessment of geohazards: The objective of this post-doc position is to develop and implement a tool for probabilistic risk assessment of geohazards (landslides, floods) in a web-based environment, including the design of a multi-hazard Spatial Data Infrastructure. Vacancy announcement: (application deadline: 31 July 2012).
  • Development of web-based decision support tool for risk management: The objective of this post-doc position is to develop a web-based decision support tool for risk assessment of hydro-meteorological hazards (landslides, floods). Vacancy announcement: (application deadline: 17 August 2012).

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