NEWS • 2023-09-14
Grant from Google.org to develop tool for evaluating climate risk in cities
A grant of five million US dollars has been awarded by Google.org for continued development and scaling of ClimateIQ, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered climate risk evaluation tool, built on multiple urban climate hazard models. The tool will help cities to better visualise and anticipate climate risks and plan accordingly using adequate mitigation strategies.
On average, a disaster related to a weather, climate or water hazard has occurred daily over the last half century,killing 115 people and causing US$ 202 million in losses every day, according to a study from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). As extreme weather events accelerate, causing devastating impact on cities and towns across the globe, decision-makers across all sectors and scales need advanced tools to prioritize effective climate adaptation and resilience investments, especially to protect the most vulnerable.
The development of ClimateIQ is led by Dr. Timon McPhearson at The New School’s Urban Systems Lab, also senior research fellow at the Beijer Institute, and a team of scientists and designers. Within the ClimateIQ collaboration, Beijer programme director Victor Galaz and researcher Stefan Daume (both also affiliated with Stockholm Resilience Centre) will contribute to the project’s strategic research focus, and responsible use of AI together with stakeholders.
ClimateIQ’s team brings together a diverse group from the public and private sectors, including partnerships with ClimaSens, the innovative climate tech start-up based in Melbourne, experts from the Beijer Institute, and Stockholm Resilience Centre (Stockholm University) and Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and the Virginia Climate Center at George Mason University, as well as with partner cities to co-develop, test, and validate the approach.
The ClimateIQ team is proud to partner with the City of New York as the inaugural partner city to test and validate the AI modeling environment. The team will work closely with additional city partners including in Phoenix, Berlin, Barcelona, Melbourne and several other cities to ensure the AI engine learns from, and works for, cities and towns in diverse climate conditions, geographies, and urban development contexts.
This stage of the development is being funded through Google.org’s Impact Challenge on Climate Innovation, a commitment from the tech company’s philanthropy to fund six big projects that accelerate technological advances in climate information and action.
“Climate change, the erosion of resilience, and social vulnerabilities pose serious challenges to the wellbeing of urban communities all over the world. We are excited to explore to what extent responsible uses of AI can augment risk analyses, and help communities innovate and build resilience to a more turbulent climate future”, says Victor Galaz.