From 2012 to 2015
Adaptation in the face of climate change is currently a major challenge, not only in the EU, but globally. Climate change has two distinct characters: the slower trends in climatic variables such as sea water temperature, and extreme weather phenomena, such as heavy precipitation. The fundamental drivers for regional adaptation are regional climate scenarios. The resilience of critical infrastructure, such as energy and transport, but also service sectors, such as tourism, against the envisaged climate scenarios is crucial for local communities.

ToPDAd or Tool-supported Policy-Development for regional Adaptation, developed state-of-the-art socio-economic methods & tools for an integrated assessment supporting regional adaptation decision-making. Based on these, conjectures were made with respect to EU level policies for the sectors considered (energy, transport, as well as tourism). Two time frames were specified, 2010-2050 and 2050-2100, for mid-term and long-term strategy formulations. Regional strategies and EU-level policies need to be consistent across the time frames in order to avoid maladaptation. ToPDAd also developed the European Climate Adaptation Platform (CLIMATE-ADAPT). The CLIMATE-ADAPT is key for continuous learning, and a repository of data and tools supporting adaptation decision-making.

TML participated in ToPDAd using the EDIP model for the analysis of adaptation strategies in the transport sector. TML extended EDIP with a dynamic component (EDIP-DP) to improve its capability to assess the impact of climate related disasters and transport adaptation strategies. This was applied on a case of capital damages to the transport sector in Germany. The model predicted the possible costs during and after the disaster realistically, though full empirical verification was not possible. Reactive adaptation increases the risk of maladaptation, when extreme events had a low re-occurrence probability and adaptation could increase the vulnerability for other events. These results were presented at the ECOMOD conference in Bali in 2014.

TML and ETH applied a micro-simulation model (MatSim) for the city of Zurich, to assess the impact of information provision to users and operators as a way to reduce the cost of extreme events. This was applied for ‘flash floods’ and heavy rain in the city. Given the flexible nature of the model and the methods applied, we were able to extrapolate results more broadly for Europe. Our conclusion is that timely information can reduce the impact of extreme events by about one third. Most of the benefits could be realised if at least 50% of the population is informed. Full information provision was not necessary and could even be counterproductive with mildly disruptive events. Results from this model were presented at the TRB conference in Washington, January 2016.

ToPDAd interactive tool:


From 2012 to 2015


European Commission, FP7


VTT (coordinator), CICERO, 4CMR, JR, UEA, ETH, FMI, Alterra, GWS

Our team

Kristof Carlier, Rodric Frederix, Christophe Heyndrickx, Bruno Van Zeebroeck, Joko Purwanto
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