Pictured top row right: Dr. Karim El-Basyouny and Dr. Tae J. Kwon from the CST at the University of Alberta, Faculty of Engineering, were one of only four recipients of this year’s CitiesIPCC awards.
On August 28th, 2019, Dr. El-Basyouny and Dr. Kwon attended the launch event for the inaugural CitiesIPCC Legacy Research Grant. The event, formally announcing and celebrating them as one of only four recipients this year, was an opportunity to introduce their project and have a photo opportunity with Mayor Iveson and the other recipients.
Alberta Ecotrust, the sponsors of this program, explained that “This inaugural year of research grants will help advance knowledge about how Edmonton can become an energy sustainable and climate resilient city. Alberta Ecotrust is pleased to be supporting this work as it aligns so well with our vision of healthy ecosystems for all Albertans.”
Dr. El-Basyouny and Dr. Kwon’s work will look at Edmonton’s river valley, which is the largest stretch of parkland in a North American city and runs directly through the urban area. Increased use of the city’s green spaces adds to the potential threat of fires caused by human activity that may burn out of control due to higher temperatures and lower levels of precipitation.
Coupled with the proximity of the river valley to both residential and commercial areas, the need for a fire-risk modeling and a comprehensive emergency response plan are significant to ensuring Edmonton is a climate resilient city.
The researchers will determine the canopy and volume of undergrowth that acts as a key ignition source and develop a fire-risk model that will offer decision-making support to the City of Edmonton.