This was originally posted 03/09/2015
It has been a productive first 9 months for the MEGADAPT project. The transdisciplinary intent of the project has made introducing the project to relevant public sector agencies and citizen groups a priority this year. As a result of this effort, we have begun a number of productive collaborations focused on the exchange of information, knowledge, priorities and concerns related to social-hydrological risk in the megalopolis. We hope that these relationships will continue over the course of the project, and that we will be able to increasingly involve the various agencies and groups in the project’s implementation.
The project aims to synthesize existing knowledge in a new, interactive decision-platform. We would like all the different agencies and groups we have worked with in the project to be able to see how their contribution and knowledge is reflected in this decision-platform. Our aim is thus to create a “boundary object” – an instrument for knowledge synthesis, exploration and decision-making – to facilitate vulnerability reduction in the city. Thus our work this past year has focused on identifying and compiling relevant datasets and knowledge, and we have appreciated the willingness of researchers and public agencies to share their knowledge with our team.
We have focused understanding how different segments of society perceive the threats of flooding and water scarcity, and how they conceptualize the diversity of factors that exacerbate or mitigate these threats. We have conducted some 60 interviews to date, as well as X# workshops with different actors in Magdalena Contreras, Iztapalapa and Xochimilco as part of our effort to understand the diversity of “mental models” held by different actors in the city. Our aim is to translate these mental models into geospatial map layers, using MCDA-GIS, representing the different priorities and different capacities for action of the groups we have consulted with in this first stage of the project (see Research approaches and methods).
Meanwhile, our biophysical team has been working hard to organize the data inputs for the various climatic, hydrological, infrastructural and health risk modeling components of the project (see Research approaches and methods). We already have some preliminary results from our efforts to model changes in local climatic conditions that confirms what many may suspect: at the scale of the Valley of Mexico, the influence of urbanization on changes in precipitation and temperature has historically been significant (see Publications and Presentations).
We are also excited about the potential of our efforts to model health risk related to flooding in the city. While establishing the causal linkages between health outcomes and flooding is extremely challenging, we have been encouraged by the profound interest in this topic in different public agencies and among city residents, and are hopeful that we will be able to attack the problem creatively, using available data as well as engaging residents themselves in data collection.
We plan to keep up our blog periodically, informing any visitors to our site of new developments in the project, additions to our website and the findings as they emerge.
Thank you for joining us!
A collaborative project seeking to improve capacities for risk management in Mexico City and to serve as a model for climate-change adaptation in developing countries.