Digital scenarios and step-by-step guidance as support tools for adaptation of ground construction and disaster risk reduction

19:00 Tuesday 28 May




Kerstin Konitzer (Sweden) 1; Hjördis Löfroth (Sweden) 1

1 - Swedish Geotechnical Institute

Extensive build-up of knowledge regarding the impact of climate change on ground conditions is crucial. Climate change is expected to have serious impacts on the Swedish housing and infrastructure as there are extensive areas vulnerable for landslides. For this purpose, the Swedish Geotechnical Institute (SGI) has produced a national Action Plan to provide a basis for firm action, continuous dialogue and collaboration between those affected by ground construction. The proposed measures focus on the need in the community for new data and tools dealing with the impact of climate change on ground conditions, as well as guidance and training for stakeholders in how supporting documentation in different forms can be utilised in spatial planning. The Action Plan has an integrated approach on measures for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

Communication brokering is highly needed in SGI’s remit to drive development of adaptation and to mediate new geotechnical knowledge in the endeavour to improve the overall efficiency of the planning and construction process. The presentation will give several examples of communication brokering of adaptation measures for managing ground conditions, that have been tailored for different target groups when implementing the Action Plan. New digital scenarios of climate change effects on ground conditions, targeting decision-makers to increase overall awareness, have been produced as overview maps to visualise areas vulnerable to landslides. Nearly all landslides in clay in Sweden with considerable loss of lives and great socio-economic costs have been quick-clay landslides. Therefore, targeting planners and developers, a cost-efficient method with an easy to follow step-by-step guide for identifying areas where quick-clay may be present, has been produced to ease sustainable planning and construction minimising risks of future landslides. New Swedish legislation from summer 2018, requires that municipalities carry out risk assessments of potential landslides in their overview plans. Several national authorities have in collaboration developed a supervision guide for a Swedish standardised assessment to facilitate the municipal risk assessment.

The implementation of the Action Plan for Sustainable Ground Construction with its objective to make sure stakeholders in industry and public administration have sufficient knowledge, expertise and capability regarding sustainable ground construction, is a good showcase of how communication brokering and knowledge mediation can be used for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Our experience is that a pro-active recurrent communication targeting different audiences by using different channels is a prerequisite for achieving the desired action.