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Augmented reality strategy turns indicators of coastal risk into interactive tools that inform business and houselholds adaptation decisions



This projects aims to enhance coastal communities resilience to floods and other weather related shocks by increasing their knowledge of coastal risks and vulnerability indicators, so this data inform autonomous strategies to endure weather events. The project builds on local experience, namely households and businesses knowledge of how to successfully deal with such weather shocks, to identify the best autonomous practices within the specific community context and scale them up at a germane regional level to replicate its success. To achieve such goal, the project draws on historical flooding data and other coastal vulnerability indicators, which are simplified, synthesized and smartly presented in mobile technology and tablets as interactive tools useful for individuals at their every day life during rainning season. This is to be achieved due to an augmented reality (AR) strategy that depicts a local well known real-world spot water-covered according to the average historic floods water levels, which in turns will enhance people`s current perception of reality. Due to the use or AR, the information regarding the user´s real world surroundings becomes interactive and people will take notice of the danger their community is subjected to due their closeness to the coast or rivers and variations in vulnerability degrees in different areas within the same community. This simple, informative and novel mobile technology usage to rise coastal awareness is to be complemented by the development of an app and web page where community members are asked to share practices and actions they have undertaken with success before to mitigate economic losses and material harms related to stationary weather events. The sharing of local and customized knowledge aims to strategically enhance the community resilience by building an enabling environment where businesses are able to carry on with their transactions and there is an uninterrupted provision of basic services. 

Category of the action

Communicating Coastal Risk and Resiliency

What actions do you propose?

Action 1. To compile local floods data and other coastal-related vulnerability and risks indicators, as well as economic losses data related to such events. This data is to be used in the designing of an AR strategy focused on a set of well known local spots, in which water levels after a flood or similar weather event is showed in order to rise awareness and interest among community members. The water level data pinpointed on  physicals spots with the AR will be complemented with highlights of synthesized flood data and economic losses related to it with the aim of foster people involvement.

Action 2. Community members will be asked to share useful tips and practices to mitigate flooding impacts in the specific community context and overcome these negative effects as fast as possible. Special attention will be given to tips that outline simple, useful and economic wise practices implemented by businesses and other strategic community members, such schools or public services providers, to successfully maintain their services provision. The action proposed are bound to be small inversions that are economic efficient and that do not demand government intervention to be undertaken. The community members will be able to express support to tips or strategies according to their own experience and complement them through a system of "likes" and the possibility to leave comments.

Action 3. To design a communication strategy oriented towards advertising the project and promote community members participation, both in exploring the water levels reached during average past floods through the AR spots at their community and browsing the summarized data about vulnerability and economic losses associated to the water level displayed in the mobile technology selected, as well as to get involved in sharing useful experiences dealing with weather events. The communication strategy would be focused in schools, where youth could be turned into agents of change given their familiarity with mobile technology. Thus, the youth are expected to foster their families involvement in the experience sharing process. Additionally, the AR strategy is to be complemented with a traffic light showing the degree of community involvement in the project, measured by the number of entries sharing tips, and which aims to raise awareness about the needing for taking individual actions to mitigate the flood shocks.


Action 4. Government officials go over the tips and actions proposed by community members, endorsing an official seal to the ones considered most effective without rejecting other entries or proposals, leaving open space for innovations or non-mainstream local practices. The results are presented to the community at an apropiated aggregated level, with the possibility for citizens to discuss them in an open forum. Once the first set of best autonomous practices for households and businesses of different sectors are outlined,  the project app and webpage will be still open to deepen the local discussion and the community will be encouraged to constantly check the simplified indicators of coastal risks showed there. Finally, the government can identify particularly useful practices to scale them regionally.

Phase 5. To develop a set of monitoring indicators and success of the practices adopted by the commuting due to their advertisement in the project, setting a threshold to ensure that the community has developed projects resilience.


Who will take these actions?

A mixed team of weather experts and AR experts will design the AR app focused on real world local spots and a synthesized set of other weather events impacts indicators, including a local economic losses estimation.

The community members and local businesses will share their experiences overcoming flooding and weather events.

The government will be on charge of providing information regarding local coastal  vulnerability and risks. The government officials will validate actions deemed most appropriate and endorse them with an official badge, giving greater strength to the most effective tips without undermining other advice submitted by the community. The government is also on charge of establishing the project communication strategy and put the AR app available to the public. In addition, the government will be responsible for updating signaling economic losses in the community caused by the flooding. 

What are other key benefits?

Coastal communities have a greater knowledge of risk and vulnerability indicators, using them effectively to inform their adaptation decisions in interactive ways.

The resilience of coastal communities to weather events increases and a sense of community is developed through collaboration and network development, being the State a merely a facilitator.

The local economy becomes more resilient to climate impacts due to the enhancement of the businesses and social services providers strategies to deal with weather events without stopping their activities.

A database of the best autonomous resilient practices will be created, which will be a reliable source to inform government actions in the developing of programs to enhance strategic adaptation and vulnerability reduction in coastal communities.


What are the proposal’s costs?

The project varies according to the number of communities in which the project is to be replicated. The development of the AR strategy is highly customized and its adaptation to the different local contexts involve the development of specific images of the spots selected; nevertheless, costs associated with the data gathering is expected to be low since the information needed is public (water level after average floodings, coastal vulnerability and risk, etc).  

The app and web page development costs are also expected to be low given their basic features, namely it has to allow users to find their specific location by google maps or similar software and share their experiences or tips in interactive ways that are similar to web forums.

Summing up, the project is believed to be cost-efficient since its implementation cost is cheaper than the economic losses that the coastal communities face due to average floodings.

Time line

The time line estimated for this project is short term.

It is estimated that the project implementation will be take 6 months, buffering flooding impacts and shocks the next rainy season after the projects implementation. 

The estimated time frame is:

-2 months to gather data on local indicators of coastal vulnerability and risks, as well as to the design of the AR app customized to the community spots.

-2 months for the development of an application that allows participants to see the indicators by area and share useful tips apdataciòn in homes and businesses.

-2 months to review the advice and actions shared by the participants and the institutional support of the practices supported by experts.


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