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Lisbon Case Study - Floods Data Catalogue

“This project has given a hard contribution to centralize and structure an innovative floods risk prevention Database, at local scale, to respond to the current challenges of climate change scenarios, and also to redefine technical requirements to be implemented in an environmental global monitoring network. With this project, a step up was given to affirm the city of Lisbon, as a global, innovative and sustainable city developed for the people and with their involvement.” quote by Maria João Telhado, Head of the Environment and Energy Division at Lisbon City Council.

Focus BC developed a flood data catalogue solution for the city of Lisbon using Google Maps and Google Data Studio and our product City as a Platform. The catalogue is fed by various data sources. The historical data which our platform aggregates, helps the city of Lisbon to establish cause-effect relationships to predict floods in the future.

About the client

Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, this city is located on 7 hills and has more than 500,000 inhabitants. With an area of about 100 km2 and by the Tagus river, Lisbon has 24 parishes. With a riverfront of 15.7 km, its area is divided into land (85 Km2) and the Tagus Estuary (15 km2) with 100% of the land classified as urban soil.

Lisbon has increasingly focused on growth and innovation. This strategy has positioned Lisbon on the international stage of attraction and retention.

The challenge

Due to its geographical context, Lisbon is a city particularly vulnerable to critical flooding events, either due to precipitation or tidal effects. This fact makes it very relevant to have a good knowledge of the historical behaviour of the various natural causes that affect these events (e.g. precipitation and tidal heights) so that cause-effect relationships can be identified and thus, from forecasts of these same variables one can identify possible future flooding situations.

In addition to the knowledge of the already mentioned natural variables, it is also imperative to have a good understanding of the territory and how it is organised, as both contribute concurrently to the occurrence of a flood.

This vulnerability of the cities tends to worsen, considering the reality of climate change. We are witnessing an increase in the frequency of extreme natural events in the world, which negatively affects an increasing number of people, causing great damage and exposing the vulnerability of society in relation to these events.

The solution

A technological solution was implemented, consisting of a data catalogue, continuously fed by various data sources, a web map application and an analytical dashboard. This solution aggregates meteorological and tidal height data feeds and multiple layers of geographic data with relevant information such as transport infrastructure, hydrogeology, environment and green structure, urban planning, land use, buildings, population, digital terrain models and others. There are plans in the near future to develop a predictive model that uses the catalogue data to help predict flood events.

The solution provided is based on the City as a Platform product, powered by Google Maps and Google Data Studio. It acts as an integrated and collaborative technology that allows users to feel, communicate and manage cities in their multiple dynamics and perspectives, delivering both location intelligence and real-time location intelligence solutions.

This project responds to the commitments made by the municipality of Lisbon:

  • Pillar 1 – a participatory city

  • Pillar 2 – a sustainable city

  • Pillar 3 – a city of culture, economy and innovation

  • Pillar 6 – a resilient and safe city

and to the targets set to deal with climate changes, assumed at the level of the mission of the “100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities”.

The results

  • Ease of use by anyone;

  • A secured centralised repository of data, instead of multiple and dispersed ones;

  • Increased reliability of the collected information: it is done automatically without human interaction;

  • Transparent access to relevant information for analysis and for public availability;

  • Availability of information from various sources in near real-time.

City as a Platform gives cities full control and visualization over their territorial planning and services management across their public services and departments.

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