Until 2014, the city had undertaken adaptation activities in isolation - upgrading drainage and delivering new green space. Projects were undertaken opportunistically rather than strategically and focused only on single risks. ICAM provides a better understanding of the city and the implications of future climate scenarios, as it can run multiple potential interventions and test the outcomes and consequences of implementing them in a range of climate scenarios.
This tool is assisting Melbourne’s move toward a holistic adaptation approach for the city; to develop a set of smart solutions that are more cost-effective and cohesive.
The development of ICAM relied on innovation at every phase, led through a multidisciplinary approach of 20 professionals - including leading climate scientists, hydrologists, IT and adaptation specialists, spatial scientists and engineers.
ICAM has been developed on a digital platform that combines GIS, hydrological modeling, climate modeling and flash-based visualization. ICAM embodies a smart way of thinking, and can review the four climate risks for Melbourne simultaneously. This holistic approach allows the city to develop adaptation interventions that can deliver multiple benefits.
ICAM overcame gaps in the existing knowledge of what happens during a large storm event. The city utilised new methods for flood modeling and a model to calculate green infrastructure intervention effectiveness.
Climate change targets include:
ICAM is currently available for use for assessing the entire municipality. However, this use is limited to city officials and the model is not yet public. The City plans to develop the model further for public use once the new adaptation strategy has been developed and endorsed.