Welcome to the CREW Website

Community Resilience to Extreme Weather (CREW) has been an EPSRC-funded research project, established to develop a set of tools for improving the capacity for resilience of local communities to the impacts of future extreme weather events. Taking a case study of five south-London boroughs, CREW has investigated local-level impacts on householders, SMEs and local policy/decision makers of a range of geohazards including flooding, subsidence, heatwaves, wind storm and drought. The research has investigated the opportunities and limitations for local communities’ adaptive capacity, considering the decision making processes across communities and the impediments and drivers of change. A web-portal presents probable extreme weather events for a range of UKCP09 scenarios, with an evaluation of coping mechanisms. The CREW comprised a consortium of researchers drawn from 14 Universities.

Final Project Assembly and Dissemination Event

The CREW project, underway since the Spring of 2008, has now drawn to its conclusion. The research has led to a collection of significant outputs and findings and the development of decision support tools, and has identified a range of policy implications for planning community responses to extreme weather. The research culminated in the Final General Assembly and Disseminaton event held on Friday 25th November, 2011 at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in Parliament Square, London. Here is a video summarising the day – presentations and videos of the talks are also online here .

  • Presentations and videos – copies of all presentations and videos from the day
  • Promotional flyer

CREW Final Report

If you would like to receive a mailed copy of the CREW project final report, please complete our report request form.

What is CREW?

The floods of 2007 led to the UK’s largest peacetime emergency since World War II and the recent events in Cumbria clearly indicate the effects and impacts of extreme weather. The impact of climate change means that the probability of similar flood events is expected to increase. Extreme weather leads not only to flooding, but can also give rise to a range of other weather-induced hazards, for example, heatwaves, storms, soil subsidence and water-shortage.

With a changing climate and the predictions that there will be wetter winters, warmer summers and greater frequencies of extreme weather, how can local communities interpret these headline warnings and understand the likely real impacts to them and, consequently, prepare themselves appropriately?

The project ‘Community Resilience to Extreme Weather’ (CREW) was established to gain a better understanding of the effects of future climate change on extreme weather events, and to develop a set of tools for improving local-community resilience. Here is a Project Overview (Powerpoint format) to explain our work.

Who will benefit from CREW?

  • Decision makers for community resilience
  • Property owners
  • Insurance companies
  • The building industry
  • Small to medium sized business enterprises (SMEs)
  • The research community

CREW Tools

The CREW research has led to the development of a series of prototype tools to aid the investigations.

Research focus

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded the CREW programme to bring together scientists from a range of engineering, social and physical sciences from 14 UK Universities to determine likely future extreme weather events and to seek to develop a set of useful web-based mapping and information tools to capture and explain the latest state-of-the-art extreme weather event modelling, focussed on our South London study area.

CREW focussed on understanding the probability of current and future extreme weather events and their likely socio-economic impacts. It was seen that initiatives, such as the Stern Review, provided high-level socio-economic impacts but did not provide the sub-regional or local estimates pertinent at the community and individual scale. Therefore, the CREW consortium sought to investigate these impacts at the local level (on householders, SMEs and local policy/decision makers). The research also investigated the opportunities and limitations for local communities’ adaptive capacity. CREW, used five South East London boroughs as case studies, and considered the decision making processes across communities including impediments and drivers of change. A web-based portal was designed and implemented to provide a facility for presenting probable extreme weather events for a range of scenarios, and for presenting and evaluating coping mechanisms.

Key Objectives

The project was established to:

  • gain a better understanding of the impacts of extreme weather events (current and future) on local communities, based on three community groupings: householders, SMEs and decision makers;
  • integrate social and physical research to develop an improved understanding of risk from EWEs at the community level;
  • study the complex inter-relationships between community groups in order to improve our understanding of the risks, vulnerabilities, barriers and drivers that affect the resilience of a local community to extreme weather events;
  • quantify and rank a number of technical and adaptive coping measures for reducing vulnerability to extreme weather;
  • develop web-based information dissemination tools for integrating the project outputs. This will deliver maps, reports and guidance on impacts and resilience measures for extreme weather.

Project Work Packages

The project was divided into a number of inter-linked work programme packages:

Study Areas

For a study area, the CREW project focused upon five local authority areas in London, to the South of the River Thames, namely Croydon, Bromley, Lewisham, Greenwich, and Bexley. These are shown on the map below.

CREW Project Assemblies

Final General Assembly Meeting and Dissemination Event, 25 November, 2011
The CREW project held its final general assembly and dissemination event on Friday 25th November, 2011 at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in London.Details of the event, videos and the presentations are available here.

A copy of the brochure is available here: CREW Final Assembly Flyer

Second General Assembly Meeting, 2010
The CREW project held its Second General Assembly on 2nd July, 2010, kindly hosted by UCL in London. Presentations from the Assembly are available to download from here.A copy of the brochure is available here: CREW 2nd Assembly Flyer
First General Assembly Meeting, 2009
The CREW project held its first Annual General Assembly on 3rd April 2009 kindly hosted by Greenwich University.A copy of the brochure is available here: Assembly meeting flyer

Rob Bexley

Researcher and Activist at Various Causes
I'm in constant pursuit of environmental changes that can help keep our planet safe for the long term. Contact me via email at crewweatherextreme@gmail.com

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