LIFE Watercool project present at European forum on adaptation to urban climate change
Madrid – The redevelopment plan for the Avenida de la Cruz Roja-Sustainable City, part of the LIFE Watercool project for adaptation to climate change in Seville, was presented at the third “ADAPT to Climate” Conference, which was also attended by representatives of other Spanish and European cities.
Adaptation to climate change
The third ADAPT to Climate Conference was held virtually on April 19 and 20 in the framework of the “LIFE Urbanproof climate proofing urban municipalities”, a European project implemented and coordinated by the Department of Environment of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment of Cyprus.
The Urbanproof project also involves the National Technical University of Athens, the National Observatory of Athens, the University of Venice (Italy), the Municipality of Regio Nell’Emilia (Italy), the Cypriot Municipalities of Strovolos and Lakatamia and the Municipality of Peristeri (Greece).
LIFE Urbanproof aims to increase the resilience to the effects of climate change of European municipalities by providing them with tools to support decision-making and planning for climate adaptation.
The ADAPT to Climate Conference was also attended by representatives from Greece, Cyprus, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands with the aim of sharing projects and experiences of adaptation to climate change.
From Spain, experts from Andalusia, Murcia, Barcelona, the Basque Country and the Consejo Superios de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) participated.
Heat and drought
Lucas Perea Gil, head of the Department of Cooperation and European Funds of EMASESA, coordinating partner of the LIFE Watercool project, explained that southern Spain faces two major problems: the approximate increase of about 4.5 degrees of temperature and a 20% increase in droughts by the end of the century.
The expert from Empresa Metropolitana de Abastecimiento y Saneamiento de Aguas de Sevilla, S.A. (Emasesa) pointed out that droughts in the south of Spain are expected to increase by approximately 4.5 degrees Celsius. (Emasesa) pointed out that the project in Seville aims to apply the ‘Efficient systemic concept of water for adaptation to climate change in urban areas’ with the actions in Avenida Cruz Roja, in the Macarena district of Seville.
New concept of public spaces
It is also intended to design a new concept of public spaces, with “green corridors” to reduce air pollution, make better use of runoff water, green the area, reduce the temperature in summer and provide more comfort zones for people.
According to Perea Gil, the objective is to combat urban heat islands, optimize the use of water from the supply network, improve urban adaptation to climate change, and develop tools for collaborative public-private management by various partners.
In addition, as in other European projects, the aim is to get the commitment of new urban centers to replicate the project and to increase their commitment and participation in the sustainable management of resources.
LIFE Watercool has a duration of 48 months (2019 to 2023), a budget of 3,779,677 euros and among its objectives are the redevelopment of Avenida de la Cruz Roja, with the recovery of the water supply network and actions in a bus stop, an area of a school center and a park.
These three points have been named short, medium and long stay comfort zones, respectively, depending on the length of time people stay in those areas.
Perea Gil pointed out that a water recovery system will be built that works with photovoltaic systems for energy production throughout the day and with cooling and air conditioning systems.
These systems dissipation ponds and hybrid cold sinks developed by the University of Seville will allow energy production in both summer and winter by means of photovoltaic systems and water cooling in summer and water heating in winter.
Water as the protagonist
Obtaining cold water in summer and hot water in winter will make it possible to vary the temperature of the air that will be used to air-condition the short-stay area, i.e. the bus stop, and the medium-stay area of the school, where semi-transparent pergolas will be installed to emit cold air and create shaded areas to combat the heat.
In the long-stay area in the park, the construction of a fountain will reduce the effect of hot air in the summer and the development of a cooling system with cold air will lower the temperature in a rest and wooded area.
In addition, according to the Emasesa representative, for the long-stay area, the engineering design of a cooling system with “wind trees”, which will provide cold air to cool the environment, is being finalized.
3D pre-design tools
Two tools are also being developed: an app for cell phones and a web tool that will allow public or private users to create a 3D pre-design of a street and assess how the location of trees, for example, can combat the effects of climate change.
These tools are currently under development and will allow “the redesign of streets to generate more comfortable spaces”.
In addition to Emasesa, the University of Seville, the City Council of Seville, the technology company S-Dos and the EFE Agency, through EFE360’s EFEverde, are also participating in the LIFE Watercool project.
Other Spanish projects
The Spanish participation also included Dafne Mazo, a member of the Urban Klima 2050 project team for the implementation of the Climate Change Strategy in Euskadi, whose main objective is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as well as the adoption of climate adaptation and mitigation measures.
Montse Martínez Puentes from Aquatec (Suez Spain) spoke about the LIFE Baetulo project in Badalona, which aims to develop and implement a comprehensive and multi-risk primary warning system to reduce the exposure of the inhabitants and the different urban elements to the dangers derived from climate change.
Francisco Miguel Moral Moreno, from the Construction Technology Center of the Region of Murcia, presented the use of cold pavements that reduce pollution and minimize the urban heat effect within the framework of the LIFE Heatland project.
The use of cold pavements on more than 24,000 square meters in the framework of LIFE Heatland aims to reduce the asphalt temperature by approximately 10 degrees and the air temperature by 1.5 degrees.
Rafael Ataz Gómez, from the Instituto de Fomento de la Región de Murcia, presented the LIFEadaptate project and the methodologies for the development of sustainable energy and climate action plans in European municipalities.
Finally, Salustiano Torre Casado, from CSIC, and José Fermoso from the Cartif Foundation spoke about the LIFE my Building is Green project, adaptation to climate change in schools and social centers with solutions based on nature.
Science and climate change
At the closing of the event, Professor Maria Loizidou explained that adaptation is the solution to face climate change and added that the Mediterranean area is more subject to the impacts of the climate crisis, with problems such as high temperatures and scarcity of water resources.
The implementation of measures for climate adaptation “are fundamental to face local, regional and national problems”, according to Loizidoy, who called on the authorities “to face the problem jointly with science”.
Lucas Perea Gil’s lecture can be heard at the following link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/5ihd11g8npse4lr/Recording%20Day%202.mp4?dl=0
The presentations of the participants in the forum can be consulted in this link provided by LIFE Urbanproof: http://urbanproof.eu/el/proceedings
The contents of this document reflect the views only of the authors and the European Union/EASME is not responsible for the use of its contents.
the European Union/EASME is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.
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About LIFE18 CCA/ES/001122
Life Invasaqua is co-financed by the EU under the Life initiative and coordinated by Emasesa. This European project aims to: develop and test innovative solutions to cope with high temperatures, both outdoors and indoors, and with temporary water runoff and drought situations in an urban environment subject to climate change.