CLARITY: Climate Change Adaption on COP24
CLARITY supports cities and regions in adapting to climate change. Patrick Zwickl, Business Developer at the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology and responsible for sustainability aspects in CLARITY, talks about possibilities and measures to counter the consequences of climate change in the context of the project.
MCS: From 03 to 14 December the United Nations will meet for the Climate Summit COP24 in Katowice, Poland. The CLARITY project, funded by the EU Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020, will be represented in the "Austria Pavilion" by the Foreign Trade Office of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKO) and will present itself to the United Nations for the first time. Patrick Zwickl, what are your goals at the conference?
Zwickl: In the EU project CLARITY, sensor systems and IT systems are being developed that enable climate hazard screening in the context of infrastructure projects. This will provide city planners and architects with modern tools to assess the impact of climate change on the planned project. This provides an important basis for the choice of appropriate preventive measures. In addition, a marketplace for climate data and services on infrastructure-related sectors is to be created. At the climate summit, we want to present these innovations to a broad audience and discuss possible deployment scenarios with interested parties.
As an example, it should be mentioned that heat waves or heavy rainfall - as effects of climate change - influence infrastructure projects in Europe. In the longer term, complex interrelations must be taken into account in infrastructure planning, for which CLARITY offers technical support options.
CLARITY therefore supports those responsible, such as planners of infrastructure projects, by first providing an overview analysis of possible climate hazards and then proposing planning improvements. Since climate-related infrastructure challenges are very diverse, CLARITY relies on an open approach in which further data providers and experts are integrated via the CLARITY Marketplace.
At the World Climate Conference in Katowice we are offering for the first time the opportunity to present our future tools for this purpose and are looking for interested partners.
“More heat days will mean great stress for the population”
MCS: How far is CLARITY?
Zwickl: In CLARITY development, we are in the process of building the first demonstrator, which will be completed by the end of the year.
MCS: You work at the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, the largest non-university research institution in Austria. You are specialized in sensor networks for environmental and climate monitoring. Climate change can no longer be stopped completely. In your opinion, what must be done to enable cities and regions in the European Union to adapt better to the effects of climate change?
Zwickl: From the point of view of the project, the first step is to understand what problems planners, project leaders or politicians are confronted with in a local area. The second step is to find out which infrastructure projects, such as hospitals or roads, are actually affected.
If, for example, there will be more localised heavy rainfall in the future, this will pose a threat to people living near rivers or coastal regions. What can be done? On the one hand, infrastructure projects can be structurally protected from dangers. Sensor networks and other IT security mechanisms can also report water levels and other dangerous situations and thus warn of approaching dangers with sufficient lead time, e.g. due to rising water levels in feeder waters in nearby mountains. If, on the other hand, there are frequent heat periods, the air circulation can be analysed sensorially and improved in the long term through measures. The aim is to identify ways in which the effects of climate change can be countered in the longer term.
We therefore create awareness, analyse infrastructure projects and show decision-makers how they can reduce the impact of climate change on their territory.
For more than 30 years, the AIT has been concerned with environmental protection, climate protection and solutions for crisis and disaster management.
Dr. Patrick Zwickl is Business Developer for Crisis and Disaster Management at the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology in the Center for Digital Safety & Security. Besides his background in computer science and business informatics he is project manager for environmental projects, especially in the field of air and water quality. Since 2017 he has been responsible for the sustainability aspect of the CLARITY project, which is funded by the EU Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020.
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