Integrating Nature Based Solutions for Resilience


Achieving Resilient Cities & Communities

The cities and communities of the 21st Century face huge challenges in coping with climate change, energy demands, water and wastewater supply together with food and health considerations.

ARCC – Achieving Resilient Cities & Communities is a series of one-day conferences and workshops jointly hosted by DTC Research Group and EWB Ireland, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. The first event took place in Dublin, Ireland in October2018. Future events will take place in Ljubljana, Slovenia (ARC2019) and Barcelona (ARC2020)

These events are part of the European Union (EU) development education and awareness raising (DEAR) program (EuropeAid/ 151103/ DH/ ACT/ Multi) and the “Build Solid Ground Campaign” which aims to inform and actively engage EU citizens in actions towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.

What is a Resilient City or Community?

Reduced Vulnerability

Vulnerability comes from the Latin word for “wound,” vulnus, and may be defined as being susceptible to being damaged or harmed. In terms of cities, vulnerability is used to denote weaknesses that expose the city to harm. This harm can be inflicted on the infrastructure, the population or the food supply. These weak/vulnerable points can be due to climate change, the location of the city, poor planning and law enforcement or poor infrastructure.

Increased Resilience

Resilience comes from the latin word resilio, which means to spring back, and may be defined as the ability of a system or city to cope with disturbing or destabilising forces. These forces may be climate change, natural disasters or human induced events. Therefore resilient cities are designed and built to cope with disturbance and destabilisation and to absorb these events and continue as near to normal as possible.


Increased Diversity

Diversity is derived from the latin word “diversus” meaning various or different ways. In order to increase diversity we need to develop a robust infrastructure system which is a mix of high tech engineered infrastructure together with diverse nature based solutions.

What are NBS?

Nature-Based Solutions are both natural and constructed systems which utilise physical, chemical and microbiological treatment processes.

These processes form the scientific and engineering principles for a range of infrastructure including water / used water treatment, hydraulic infrastructure and energy management.

NBS can be low cost, have low energy requirements and provide added value through ecosystem services.

Dublin 2018 (Ireland)

9th – 10th October 2018

Ljubljana 2019 (Slovenia)

22nd – 23rd May 2019

Barcelona 2020 (Spain)

13th + 20th Nov 2020

ARCc Project Team

Liam McCarton

“Development Technology in the Community” Research Group in TU Dublin

Liam McCarton is a Chartered Civil Engineer, with over 25 years’ experience in International Development. Liam has project managed major infrastructure projects in Ireland, Asia, Africa and South America. Liam leads the Development Technology in the Community (DTC) Research Group within the Water Innovation Research Centre (WIRC) at DIT. Liam is a board member of the Environmental Science Association of Ireland (ESAI), and is also a director of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Ireland.

Dr. Sean O’Hogain

“Development Technology in the Community” Research Group in TU Dublin

Dr. O’Hogain has been lecturing on the Engineering degree course in DIT for 30 years, specialising in water and wastewater analysis. Recent teaching innovations have included courses in sustainability and climate change. Research topics have included Reed beds (design, construction and monitoring) and Rainwater Harvesting (design, construction and monitoring). Research projects included TECSPAR, an EU funded collaboration between three European Institutions and three Latin American Institutions.

Anna Reid MPhil, BSc (Hons) Environmental Studies

“Development Technology in the Community” Research Group in TU Dublin

Anna is a Senior Technical Officer in TU Dublin with over 30 years’ experience managing laboratories for courses in water and wastewater analysis.  She provides advice and technical assistance to staff, post graduate and undergraduate researchers in the College of Engineering and Built Environment.  Research interests include Rainwater Harvesting (design, construction and monitoring) and Reed Bed Monitoring.

Expert Speakers

Declan Alcock

Director, Engineers Without Borders Ireland | Project Director, Varming Consulting Engineers

Declan Alcock is a Chartered Engineer with 18 years’ experience in Building Services Consultancy and Sustainable Building Design. He is Project Director for Sustainability with Varming Consulting Engineers. Qualifications include MSc Energy & Sustainable Building Design, BREEAM Accredited Professional (BREEAM AP), BREEAM International New‐Construction Assessor and Certified Passive House Designer (CPHD). He has also lectured at MSc level in “Sustainable BIM Design and Construction”. He is a Director of the Irish Green Building Council (IGBC) and Director of EWB Ireland where he is involved in the EU DEAR “Build Solid Ground” project.

Joan Garcia

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

Joan Garcia is Professor of Environmental Engineering at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the Technical University of Catalonia-BarcelonaTech (UPC). He holds a degree in Biology from the University of Barcelona (UB), specialising in wastewater treatment engineering. He has been a postdoc research visitor at University of California at Berkeley (2001), and University of Ghent, Belgium (2005). He was recognised by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation for the Intensification of Research Activity for his contributions to water resources research and wastewater engineering, and has also received an award by the Fulbright Commission to take a sabbatical in Florida Gulf Coast University, USA (2018). He has written over 250 articles in scientific as well as technical journals and proceedings.

Victor Beumer

Dr. Victor Beumer is a Senior Landscape Ecologist. Victor is working on Nature-based Solutions and Green Infrastructure, meaning: the application of natural solutions for multiple benefits like increased water safety, enhanced water storage and improved water quality, but also recreation, liveability and heat reduction.

In the last 6 years Victor has focused his work on cities and urban areas. Since 2017 he is also the cluster leader ‘Hybrid Grey and Green Infrastructure’ within the EU Water Platform (WssTP). Within Deltares he was responsible for the knowledge programme ‘Eco-Infrastructure’, combining ecological principles with civil and hydraulic engineering solutions.

Albert Jansen

Water Innovation Consulting

Albert Jansen has dedicated his professional life to membrane technologies with water as most important application. He is currently affiliated with Wetsus to set up European projects and is the Chair of the Dutch membrane Association. His career started at TNO as a scientist and project leader to develop gas separation and filtration type of membranes. During a period of 15 years he was the TNO department leader for chemical engineering focusing on innovations with separation technologies. The last fifteen years Albert has focused on water issues as a business developer. He is one of the founding fathers of EWP and WssTP, where he was the vice-chair for some time and currently the leader of the working group Water and Industry. In EIP Water he is leading the action group on industrial water reuse. Next to this Albert is a democratic elected board member for a Dutch Water district (HDSR).

Pat Kennedy


Pat is the CEO and head of digital strategy at eTownz based in Dublin. eTownz specialise in developing online tools for the community development sector and have also undertaken a number of research projects in this area also in collaboration with Dr. Maura Farrell & Dr. Vincent Carragher of NUIG. eTownz recently launched their community development dashboard which is an online tool that helps communities compile and maintain multi category community plans.  For more information visit

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