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Resilience and Interdependencies in City Systems Guildhall 26 June 2014. Professor Jeremy Watson CBE FREng. Cities: Systems of systems. Cities: Systems of systems. Community. Water. People. Energy. Mobility. Logistics. Food. Waste. City-scale contexts. Products Personal devices

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resilience and interdependencies in city systems guildhall 26 june 2014

Resilience and Interdependencies in City SystemsGuildhall 26 June 2014

Professor Jeremy Watson CBE FREng

cities systems of systems1
Cities: Systems of systems









city scale contexts
City-scale contexts
  • Products
    • Personal devices
    • Smart cards
    • Cars
  • Buildings
    • Domestic
    • Commercial
    • Public
  • Infrastructure
    • Transport
    • Utilities
  • Districts
    • Communities
    • Entire cities
key themes
Key themes


Sustainability – resource use, social, future-proofing

Climate change – adaptation and mitigation

Resilience – infrastructure, utilities, food, financial systems

Demography and health


Value aggregation


Economic opportunity and transparency

Security and safety


enablers and threats
Enablers and threats


Digitally-enabled integration

Systems thinking

Innovation in business processes


Lack of holistic thinking in private and public sector

Unaddressed resilience issues

Weak, short-term and politically-modulated government support

drivers and trends co 2
Drivers and Trends: CO2

Keeling curve

CO2 rise derived from Antarctic ice core measurements and readings from Mauna Loa, Hawaii.

James Watt’s steam engine developments took place in the 1750s

Around 45% of all present carbon emissions come from existing buildings, with ~25% from homes

  • Tipping point – 500ppm? Currently 400ppm (Scripps Institution)
    • Ice caps melt, more sunlight absorbed, trapped CH4 & CO2 released
temperature data modelling
Temperature data & modelling

Met Office

Observed temperatures

Simulated temperatures

Summer 2003:

normal by 2040s, cool by 2080s

Stott Nature 2004 – updated to 2007 – HadGEM1

urban heat island uhi
Urban Heat Island (UHI)

In 2003 there were ~900 excess deaths directly attributable to overheating in the UK, and ~25,000 across Europe

Acknowledgement: ARCADIA: Adaptation and Resilience in Cities

priorities for the built environment
Priorities for the Built Environment
  • Adaptation (time-frame 0 to 50+ years) – extreme weather
    • Global temperature increase has already led to seasonal extremes; 23,000 excess deaths in EU in 2003, ~900 in UK
    • Need to design buildings to ensure that compliance with high code levels does not make homes unsafe in extreme weather
    • Greater incidence of intense rain with urbanisation - pluvial flooding
  • Energy cost / shortages (time frame 5 to indefinite years)
    • Global depletion of fossil fuels and exhaustion of indigenous fossil fuels – but Shale Gas a mid-term benefit
    • Drive to de-carbonise central energy resources – need to ‘go nuclear’
    • Need to minimise energy consumption in buildings
  • Mitigation (time frame 0 – 200+ years)
    • We have to live with effects of already-emitted carbon for 200+ years
    • Ultimately we must bring carbon concentration to an equilibrium point
    • Possible active sequestration – CCS plus atmospheric abatement
    • Buildings viewed at district-level should be carbon neutral or negative
adaption ccra identified risks
Adaption: CCRA-identified risks
  • Non-residential and residential properties at significant risk of flooding
  • Expected Annual Damage (EAD) to residential and non-residential property due to flooding
  • Hospitals and schools at significant risk of flooding
  • Ability to obtain flood insurance for residential properties
  • Urban Heat Island
  • Overheating of buildings
  • Energy demand for cooling
  • Reduction in water available for public supply
  • Public water supply-demand deficits
  • Vulnerable people at risk

City resilience considerations

‘The ability of a system, community or society exposed to hazards to resist, absorb, accommodate to and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner, including through the preservation and restoration of its essential basic structures and functions’ – UNISDR

cities interdependent systems
Cities: Interdependent systems

Human services

Power & fuel










‘B is dependent on A’

estimating resilience
Estimating resilience

Resilience concerns the maintenance of operational capabilities of systems and sub-systems, with acceptable levels of degradation

  • Subsystems may be interdependent such that ‘cascade failure’ is possible
  • Subsystems may be redundant, such that the failure of one is supported by the continuing operation of another

An estimate of resilience can be derived from a network analysis of these properties in real systems.

Probability calculations apply

Redundancy costs money

Synergistic interdependency can save money, but has (manageable) risk

network resilience
Network Resilience

Acknowledgement: Richard Ploszek, IUK HM Treasury

static and dynamic interdependencies
Static and dynamic interdependencies
  • City infrastructure elements are interdependent, and can be viewed statically and dynamically
    • Antagonistic
    • Synergistic
  • Engineering and business model challenges
    • Value aggregation
  • Dynamics
    • Optimisation of capacity
    • Collaborative streetworks
big data opportunities
Big Data opportunities

Fusing disparate data types to create new insights

  • Validation, continuity, prediction

Private-sector mashing services

  • Combining proprietary and open data sources for knowledge and value creation

Live data plus GIS; city-scale object data

  • Building and infrastructure attributes and live information

Social network feeds

  • Can identify health trends (e.g. Norovirus) before reporting by healthcare providers
data integration in cities
Data integration in Cities

Mapping social data (eg. Crimes)

Mapping Energy Efficiency of Buildings



Flood simulation

Exploration of multiple agendas in city development (transport, housing, employment etc)

Acknowledgement: Professor T Fernando, University of Salford

service synergies in smart cities
Service synergies in Smart Cities

Real-time Telemedicine and Assisted Living

Personalised transport optimisation

Energy assurance services for PAYS


Monitoring and alerts

foresight future of cities project
Foresight – Future of Cities Project

Examples of previous projects

  • Public policy is delivered via cities, which are centres of innovation and growth
  • Foresight project will take a cross government interdisciplinary approach, building on existing work
  • Aim to provide a holistic understanding of the challenges and opportunities UK cities will face in the future
  • Seeking input in order to shape project and focus outputs on most important questions facing policy makers

Flooding &

Coastal Defence

Land Use Futures


Energy & the Built


Acknowledgement: GO - Science

resilience and interdependencies in city systems

Resilience and Interdependencies in City Systems