City Comparison Working Group
Objective of the CCWG
With the merit of nine UREx cities in the US and Latin America, the CCWG is a collaborative research structure to coordinate data acquisition and develop comparative research projects across network cities. The CCWG has focused on fostering improved communication and coordination of cross-city research through city updates in the WG meetings and served as a platform for task forces (TFs) for carrying out specific research goals.
Highlights of CCWG task forces
- Green Infrastructure Research Coordination TF has brought together network researchers interested in green infrastructure (GI). GIRC TF has been working on a synthesis of GI financing mechanisms, assessment of soil physical and biological properties in GI from several cities, and a comparison of historic GI development in Baltimore, Portland, and Phoenix.
- Urban Flooding TF has been working on a review of pluvial (rain-driven) flooding, bluespot analysis of pluvial flooding vulnerability, developing SETS indicators for urban flooding vulnerability, developing citizen science based flood-alert app, and assessing knowledge systems for cloudburst rain events.
- Comparative Urban Futures TF has been working on a cross-city synthesis of scenarios data, guiding entry points for using scenarios data for cross-city comparison studies, SETS governance strategies analysis, and assessment of co-development strategies and visions.
CCWG’s major achievements in comparative studies
[participating cities are indicated in brackets]
- Worked to aggregate data from cities to support of scenarios preparation and city comparisons research
- Social-Ecological-Technological systems (SETS) governance document analysis [BAL, HER, MIA, NYC, PHX, PDX, SJU, VAL]
- Spatial maps of various indicators to inform scenario workshop participants on the historical and current conditions of cities [BAL, HER, MIA, NYC, PHX, PDX, SJU, SYR, VAL]
- Spurred multiple city comparisons research efforts, either leveraging existing data or collecting new data. Examples include cross disciplinary review on the definition of extreme events, three city comparison of green stormwater infrastructure implementation [BAL, PHX, PDX], assessing spatial distribution of green stormwater infrastructure relative to sociodemographic and landscape characteristics [BAL, PDX], developing knowledge systems for cloudburst rain events [PHX, NYC]
- Collaborated with the Transitions and Implementation Working Group to identify practitioners’ needs in each city and to respond to their needs by developing relevant research project
CCWG has also produced non-academic research products in order to increase public awareness on urban resilience and deliver project outcomes to broader audiences. Future Cities (available on iTunes) is a public podcast channel led by UREx graduate research fellows. It releases monthly episodes in English and Spanish on urban resilience issues spanning from climate risk and vulnerability in undocumented American communities to infrastructure and climate change. CCWG has also worked with the Education and Diversity Working Group (EDWG) to incubate research ideas for cross-city comparison studies led by graduate student fellows in order to align research efforts with city needs.