‘2. Discoursing Harvest’ Category

Climate change adaptation websites and resources

October 4th, 2012

When looking for climate change adaptation resources at the regional and local level the problem is that most of the information is only available in local languages of the different countries which makes things difficult to access and to use. Nevertheless there are – apart from the weADAPT and Climate Funds Update websites – some other websites and resources in English which can be helpful for the climate change strand of the EMAPS project:


UKCIP supports adaptation to the unavoidable impacts of a changing climate. UKCIP coordinates and influences research into adapting to climate change, and encourages organisations to use their tools and information to help them consider their climate risks and how to adapt. There are links to essentials (frameworks, definitions), tools (supporting instruments), government (who is involved where and why), case studies and resources.

ESPON Climate

The ESPON project 2013/1/4 “Climate change and territorial effects on regions and local economies” deals with the impacts of climate change on the European regions and their economies as well as the consequences for spatial planning. Therefore the project seeks to analyse the regional sensitivities towards climate stimuli and the likely economic effects of climate change on European regions also considering mitigation and adaptation measures. Eventually, the project aims at the development of new potential regional typologies with respect to the multitude of aspects and consequences in the context of climate change. At the ESPON website you will find all the main reports as well as reports from the case studies Alpine Space, Tisza River (Hungary), North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany), Mediterranean Coast of Spain, Bergen (Norway), The Netherlands and Coastal Aquifers. Data on the ESPON projects is provided via the ESPON 2013 Database.

Climate Research – The Netherlands

The joint website of the Dutch “Climate changes Spatial Planning” Programme and the “Knowledge for Climate” Research Programme provides information on the programmes themselves, projects that have been funded, methods and approaches, publications and case studies. Both programmes have a slightly different focus: The Climate changes Spatial Planning Programme enhances joint-learning between communities and people in practice within spatial planning, with the themes climate scenarios, mitigation, adaptation, integration and communication, The Knowledge for Climate Research Programme develops knowledge and services, focusing on eight Hotspots (Schiphol Mainport, Haaglanden Region, Rotterdam Region, Major Rivers, South-West Netherlands Delta, Shallow waters and peat meadow areas, Dry rural areas, Wadden Sea, Delta Alliance) enabling the climate proofing of the Netherlands.

Climate Change Adaptation Resource

This website brings together a wide collection of knowledge, lessons and experience from five countries across the Northern Periphery, who participated in the NPP Clim-ATIC project from 2008 to 2011. Twelve communities worked in partnership with researchers and local authorities, to develop their capacity to adapt to the impacts of current and future climate changes, under the themes of transport, energy, risk management and tourism. This knowledge can be freely accessed in a variety of ways using the links above, either via viewing case studies directly or through the targeted training material.

National Adaptation Programmes of Action

National adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs) provide a process for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to identify priority activities that respond to their urgent and immediate needs to adapt to climate change – those for which further delay would increase vulnerability and/or costs at a later stage. The main content of NAPAs is a list of ranked priority adaptation activities and projects, as well as short profiles of each activity or project, designed to facilitate the development of proposals for implementation of the NAPA. To facilitate access to project details from the NAPAs, the secretariat has developed a NAPA Project Database.

European Environment Agency

By providing information on climate change in Europe, the EEA supports the implementation of legislation on climate mitigation and adaptation in Europe, the evaluation of EU policies and the development of long-term strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change. EEA’s information (data, indicators, assessments, projections) focuses on climate change mitigation (greenhouse gas emission trends, projections, policies and measures), and on climate change impacts and adaptation actions in Europe. The EEA provides information and publications such as Urban adaptation to climate change in Europe 2012, Impacts of Europe’s changing climate – 2008 indicator-based assessment, Impacts of Europe’s changing climate 2004. Further, there is a section on sharing European environmental datasets, maps, charts and applications.

UNEP Climate Change Adaptation

UNEP helps developing countries to reduce vulnerabilities and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. UNEP builds and strengthens national institutional capacities for vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning, and supports national efforts to integrate climate change adaptation measures into development planning and ecosystem management practices. It provides sections on Science and Tools and focuses on the following topics: Science and Assessments, Knowledge and Policy, Ecosystem-Based Adaptation, Economics and Finance, Access to Adaptation Finance.

Feedback from weADAPT

September 26th, 2012

As you remember, during our last meeting in London, we met Sukaina Bharwani and Ben Smith from the amazing weADAPT.org project. In London and after that we identified with them a number of maps that could potentially be interesting for their community and during the summer, Milano designed a wonderful wireframe sketching what this maps may look like (thank you Michele):


We sent this wireframe to our friend at weADAPT and here is their feedback:


  • 1) We were not sure about the value of visualising co-authoring just yet as weADAPT is quite young and this is probably not so prevalent yet.
  • 2) This is a good question because it shows focus, and also which initiatives maybe need strengthening.
  • 3+4) We thought that these were really interesting and we especially liked the temporal aspect of Q4.
  • 5) We liked this one the most from a weADAPT/research perspective especially as it’s also easy for users to understand. Here, we could potentially also view tags by initiative and members, as well as organisation?
  • 6) This one would not be as interesting for us as the others but would be ok.
  • 7) This could be more interesting as it could show contentious areas quite well.
  • 8+9) These are both valuable illustrations and again easy to understand.
  • 10) This is also very interesting from a climate adaptation research perspective if we choose pertinent things to monitor over time. We can ask other staff at SEI also working on adaptation to come up with possible questions to model also.
    In summary, we think that for weADAPT 2, 3,4, and 5 are the most interesting, and 8, 9 and 10 in the wider debate. Users would probably be very interested in question 10, and to see who’s doing what (hot topics/most used tags) would be really useful to (both within and outside weADAPT).


On the basis of this feedback, I am now discussing with them to obtain the data we need to build these maps.
I’ll keep you posted as soon as I have more information on this.

Where we are, where we are going

June 9th, 2012

The London workshop will not start until next Wednesday, but I already want to express great satisfaction for process that led to this event. In a handful of months, we identified a number research questions, we collected and analysed the data necessary to provide some answers, we visualised the results of the analysis and we are now ready to share our maps with a real public. On a small scale, we already proved the worth of our consortium.
And there’s more: next week event is only a small test compared to the exhibition we will organise in London in the next fall, which in turn is only a small test of the online/offline platform we will develop on climate adaptation.

During the kick-off meeting, I said that our project is complex because it is experimental. I think we have found the good organisation to tame such complexity. The circle displayed in the image below (courtesy of Axel) describes the iterative process of questions-data-visualisations-tests that characterize EMAPS. What is most remarkable about this circle is that it reaches further every time we go through it. More then to a circle, our project resembles to a spiral where every coil delivers better maps and engages more people.
Accordingly, the success of EMAPS depends crucially on our capacity to multiply the iterations among ourselves and with our publics. To use a slogan borrowed from software development: “release early, release often!”

Acknowledging the spiralling nature of EMAPS transforms slightly but decisively the goal of the second day of our London meeting (see page 7 and 8 of the survival kit sent by Axel). At this stage, the priority is not to decide once and for all the precise focus of our project, but to set the mapping spiral into motion. What we need is to identify a first set of adaptation maps that are both interesting and relatively easy to produce.
To facilitate our work, I drafted a list of potential research questions and maps (see page 10-12 of the kit). Our goal for Thursday is to complete this list (because I certainly forgot something important) and agree on the interest and feasibility of each of the proposed maps.

This assessment will be the basis for the work of following months, which will consist in developing a first set of maps to submit to a first sample of public in order to produce better maps to submit to a larger audience and so on and so forth. So the spiral goes, so the project advances…

Identifying more Wikipedia articles related to Climate change

May 31st, 2012

In two previous posts (post 1, post 2) we have reported some metrics about a sample of 53 Wikipedia articles related to Climate Change, manually selected by Tommaso Venturini. The list contains probably the main articles related to this topic; however, given the wideness of Wikipedia we can suppose that many more articles concerning Climate Change exist, and it is hardly feasible to manually collect all of them. In this post we explain how we have expanded this list in a semi-automatic way, relying on Wikipedia’s category structure.

In Wikipedia, each article can be assigned to one or more categories, and each category can in turn be assigned to higher level categories. This can be achieved by any user just by inserting a special tag into a page.

Articles are usually not assigned directly to high level categories, to make the category structure usable: what if you had thousands of articles directly assigned to “Natural Sciences”? It would be impossible to make sense of the categories. Instead, most articles are only assigned to lower level categories, and these are in turn assigned to higher level categories.


Medialab explorations on climate change

February 23rd, 2012

The image below (click on it to download the hi-resolution PDF) show all the digital methods tools that we use at the médialab and the ones that we are currently using for the first exploration of the climate adaptation controversy.

Please be aware that in the image, the green circles correspond to the tools developed by the médialab and the blue circles correspond to tools that we use, but we have not developed ourselves.

I hope I will be able to publish the results of our explorations soon.

An introduction to controversy mapping

November 26th, 2011

The pre-prints of two article I have published on Public Understanding of Science that provide a basic introduction to the observation and representation of controversies.

Venturini, T. (2010). Diving in magma: how to explore controversies with actor-network theory. Public understanding of science, 19(3), 258.

Venturini, T. (2012). Building on faults: how to represent controversies with digital methods. Public Understanding of Science, (forthcoming)