Research overview

The FRACTAL project is divided into three main Work Packages (WPs). Through the project inception phase, FRACTAL has structured functionally into Clusters of Collaboration. These clusters are dynamic and specifically designed to oppose the natural tendency for disciplines to work in silos and also reflect the cross work package linkages built into the original proposal. Some research questions are best addressed by a specific discipline as they form foundations for further integrating questions, or contribute specifically to a particular discipline. However, many research questions cannot be addressed by a single discipline and this is reflected in the cluster structures and the proposed activities. The work packages and current versions of the research questions are presented below.

Work Package 1 (WP1):

WP1 is an ongoing and sustained activity operating as a learning laboratory for pilot studies to link research from WP2 and 3 to a real world iterative dialogue and decision process. WP1 frames, informs, and steers the research questions of WP2 and 3, and so centers all research on needs for responsible development pathways of city-region systems.

Work Package 2 (WP2):

WP2 addresses the decision making space in cities; the political, economic, technical and social determinants of decision making, and seeks to understand the opportunities for better incorporation of climate information into local decision making contexts.

Work Package 3 (WP3):

The majority of effort in WP3 focuses on advancing understanding of the physical climate processes that govern the regional system, both as observed and simulated. This knowledge grounds the development of robust and scale relevant climate information, and the related analysis and communication. This is steered explicitly by WP1’s perspective of urban climate change risk, resilience, impacts, and decisions for adaptation and development.

Clusters of collaboration

During the first year of FRACTAL, “clusters of collaboration” developed as operational units for research and activities. To facilitate transdisciplinarity, these clusters are dynamic, with partners from different organisations contributing to research and activities across clusters. Clusters of collaboration include the:

  • city learning cluster
  • climate information cluster
  • decision-making cluster
  • nexus cluster
  • cross-cutting cluster