Modica, Italy

36°51′ N 14°45′ E

This study – presented at the XXI Architecture Biennale in Venice – demonstrated the application of an integrated decision support system such as Kassandra and the potential for climate change adaptation in historic environments.

Video presented at Architecture Venice Biennale 2020

Modica has a medium sized historic centre set in a deep valley in South East Sicily at 36N degrees latitude, which cuts across the largest portion of the Mediterranean. Its relatively small size allows for a good number of data types to be analysed without the great volume that a larger city would generate.

Its population – 55.000 inhabitants – and relative compact size and topographical and historic conformation make it representative for most small and medium sized towns in the areas of the Mediterranean that are likely to suffer first and more severely from climate change.

It has a complex topography, with deep valleys, plateaus and hills which allows for different scenarios that can be applied to other towns throughout the region and beyond.

It is a Unesco World Heritage site, a benchmark for the quality of the historic urban environment. The historic layering of the town allows us to look back at successful pre-industrial vernacular solutions, as well as the effect of later urban and architectural interventions.



Grenada and Dominica

15°27′ N 61°27′ W

This research project – in collaboration with the University of Portsmouth – focused on the definition of key guidelines for the improvement of resilience of coastal communities in the Caribbean to extreme climatic events caused by climate change.

Video of the Prototype

The study was carried out on two island nations of the Caribbean – Dominica and Grenada – very different for geographical location and morphology, but both subject to extreme risk from severe weather events and other natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

Working with local people and organizations for data collection and with experts from various fields – from geology to vulcanology, from disaster management to architecture – for data analysis, Kassandra was applied to various sites on both islands, resulting in the first comprehensive view of current and future resilience in these environments.

In addition Kassandra, in collaboration with MAx, developed a prototype building design that takes into account the output from the Kassandra IDSS and proposes an ideal resilient building capable of withstanding and adapting to most natural disasters.




Telford & Wrekin, UK

52°37′ N 2°29′ W

This study, on behalf of Historic England – the public body tasked with protecting the historic environment of England – focuses on the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage site and brings together exploration work and analysis of resilience to climate change carried out over the years by various stakeholders.

The Ironbridge Gorge WHS site was chosen as a good example to demonstrate, with an evidence-based pilot study, the connection between the future changes that are likely to affect the overall resilience of the community, the heritage assets, to be able to see the distribution of impacts these changes might have

The output of the study was a parametric digital twin of the study area, which shows all in one place all the data collected so far, the existing resilience to climate change of the overall site and individual items and a number of scenarios that highlight different vulnerabilities and adaptive pathways to increase resilience to climate change.


Co. Down, Northern Ireland

54.55° N 5.60° W

This project was commissioned by the National Trust – the largest conservation charity in Europe – to showcase an application of the Kassandra IDSS methodology in developing a climate change resilience model and associated decision support tools for historic places, cities and landscapes.

Mount Stewart is one of the most unique and unusual gardens that the Trust owns. The climate of Strangford Lough allowed astonishing levels of planting experimentation with the formal garden areas exuding a strong Mediterranean feel and resemble an Italian villa landscape, while the wooded areas support a range of plants from all corners of the world. 

At the outset of the pilot study there were already some known climate change risks which have been confirmed by the data analysis and simulations. During the course of the study other aspects have come to light which have a substantial effect on the overall performance of Mount Stewart in terms of resilience to climate change.

The output of the study was a parametric Digital Twin of the study area, which shows all in one place all the data collected so far, the existing resilience to climate change of the overall site and individual items and various scenarios that highlight different vulnerabilities and adaptive pathways to increase the resilience of the site to climate change.



A4 Motorway, Veneto, Italy

45°49′ N 12°13′ E

Climate change has become one of the most significant threats to road infrastructure globally whether it is extreme weather events, the effect of invasive plant species on the infrastructure or of the infrastructure itself on its local environment and its inhabitants.

In this context, Concessioni Autostradali Venete S.p.A., together with Greenway, the Center for Climate Change Studies and Kassandra, shared the challenge of carrying out the first study whose objective was to verify the resilience of motorway infrastructures in relation to climate change phenomena .

The purpose of the study was not only to analyse the resilience of three motorway sections in northern Italy managed by CAV, but also a 500 m strip either side of the motorway to demonstrate how the infrastructure can impact both positively and negatively on the surrounding environment, and vice versa.

Despite the limited data utilised it was possibile to demonstrate the validity of the Kassandra approach and how the IDSS can “predict” the best interventions to be carried out not only to improve the resilience of the areas, but also in terms of costs/benefit, thus giving the decision-makers data, based on a scientific approach, on which to take better decisions.