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 15 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 .
The CREW project Final Report is now available as a pdf report here CREW_Final_Report.pdf.
There are to be a limited number of hard copy reports available, if you would like to have one please complete the form linked here and we will seek to provide you one. 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
The building industry
Small to medium sized business enterprises (SMEs)
The research community
The CREW research has led to the development of a series of prototype tools to aid the investigations.
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.
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:
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.