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Project overview

Resilience Guard is part of a team developing a support system to improve resilience and create sustainable urban areas able to cope with climate change and extreme weather events.

We will lead three vital project tasks. The first is selecting the best standard to use for the evaluation of risk metrics and impact assessment. The second involves identifying vulnerabilities in urban environments to incidents, crises and climate impacts. The third task addresses multi-hazard mitigation measures through the design and implementation of a decision support system.


The project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement 101003517.

Project outline

The 42-month HARMONIA project, 'Development of a support system for improved resilience and sustainable urban areas to cope with climate change and extreme events based on GEOSS and advanced modelling tools'(start date 2021), aims to leverage existing tools, services and novel technologies to deliver an integrated resilience assessment platform. This will work on top of GEOSS, acknowledging the current lack of a dedicated process of understanding and quantifying climate change (CC) effects on urban areas using satellite and auxiliary data available on GEOSS, DIAS, urban TEP, GEP and other platforms.

According to Eurostat, about 75% of European citizens already inhabit urban areas. This means urban resilience is of paramount importance. Cities are taking steps to become more resilient to protect their residents and assets, but also to remain functional during crises. These efforts are supported by global agreements and local policies or regulations on climate change.

However, currently there is no dedicated process to understand and quantify CC effects on urban areas using satellite and auxiliary data. Consequently, urban development strategies regarding CC are very limited.

HARMONIA aims to bridge this gap through a holistic decision support system to quantitatively and qualitatively assess climatic parameters that directly affect European cities and citizens. Delivery of this data, information and knowledge will provide invaluable support to governmental bodies and municipality authorities to properly adapt their short- and long-term policies towards deploying sustainable and resilient masterplans/programs and providing efficient damage prevention and mitigation, in addition to rectifying damage that has already been inflicted on the built environment and infrastructure. This data will additionally provide complementary support to citizens and investors (real estate, investment banks, insurance companies etc) and promote the economic growth and sustainable development of cities.

Project goals

The HARMONIA project targets the following Scientific & Technical Objectives (STO):

STO1. Reliable quantification of climatic, hydrological and atmospheric stressors.

STO2. Reliable quantification of urban heat fluxes and their effects on air quality.

STO3. Reliable quantification of future (projected) CC effects.

STO4. Ecological Integrity Indexes - Essential biodiversity variables such as urban greenness.

STO5. Multi-hazard modelling.

STO6. Environmental monitoring – state-of-the-art identification and diagnosis.

STO7. Exploit advances in deep learning methods.

STO8. Use of the OpenCities Planner and digitalisation.

STO9. Citizens as observatories - active communities - collective knowledge.

STO10. Design of a seamless, holistic, integrated resilience assessment platform, supporting communities' participation.

STO11. HARMONIA showcase – Validation of results in Milano, Ixelles, Piraeus and Sofia.

STO12. Provision of a HARMONIA Handbook.

STO13. Taxonomy.

Our input

Resilience Guard GmbH has been appointed to lead three vital project tasks. The first involves the selection and documentation of the appropriate standards to use for the risk metrics evaluation and the impact assessment methodology, in line with ISO standards.

The second task is relevant to the vulnerability assessment and aims to increase the resilience of urban environments against foreseen or unforeseen incidents/crises, as well as climate impacts, by using a vulnerability and risk-based approach.

The third task addresses multi-hazard mitigation and adaptation measures through the design and implementation of a decision support system based on a holistic planning process, considering a number of community goals related to HARMONIA's vulnerability assessment and risk management approach.

Find out more

More detailed information and news regarding the HARMONIA project can be found on the project's website:
Photograph: Lee Scott / Unsplash
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