Bergen is a coastal city in western Norway – home to 280.000 inhabitants and 7Analytics. That we build our business from here is not a coincidence. The city is a climate knowledge hotspot that significantly accelerates our development.
Being one of the wettest cities in Europe, Bergen is home to modern meteorology. With four times the precipitation of Paris and London, we have rain in our and the city’s DNA.
With four times the precipitation of Paris and London, we have rain in our and the city’s DNA.
Surrounded by mountains and the North Sea, natural hazards as falling rocks, snow and landslides and North Sea storms have always been real risks around here. All through history this has called for adaptation and knowledge built-up in the field. In later decades, the competences within modelling and engineering have continued developing into world-leading due to the large outbuild of the energy sector from offshore to hydropower.
We tap into this cluster of experience, knowledge and talent when building our solutions to tackle the climate of the future.
Partnership with forefront municipality
In our very early days in business, we partnered with Bergen Municipality. The city is at the forefront of stormwater planning and is very explicit in its goals: “Bergen must adapt to a changing climate and in particular handle increased precipitation, extreme weather, and rising sea levels”.
On our end, we wanted to adapt our products to best create value in urban planning and stormwater management.
The municipality on their end, has been striving to increase its urban resilience and at the same time solve a very specific challenge regarding the quality and speed of the planning and permitting process.
Bergen municipality found that 67% of building permits were flawed and had to be returned for further processing. Of these – 93% of the cases were because of inadequate stormwater planning.
Something had to be done about this as reprocessing is costly and delaying new-builds around the city. One of the answers lie in higher modelling precision and better tools for collaboration – both of which 7Analytics could help provide.
Testbed where details matter
The high level of precipitation coupled with a growing city generate large water volumes in the urban landscape. As new buildings and infrastructure are being put in place, even smaller mistakes in dimensioning or planning can lead to large consequences.
One source of such challenges is an outdated data basis. A local example of this, was a new footpath in a Bergen hillside that was not captured in the latest digital elevation models (DEM). A small change in the cityscape, maybe, but it dramatically changes the way the water runs and subsequently water volumes and flood risk.
We consider working with accurate data as one of the most, if not the most, important part in dimensioning and planning. Therefore, we have developed algorithms to capture such details by supplementing the latest DEM with multiple other frequently updated data sources giving a high-resolution image of the terrain and land use.
In this specific example, we modelled a watershed twice the size of what the traditional tools of the municipality did. In a city like Bergen such difference in planning precision may prove highly consequential.
From Bergen to the World
Living in a very wet urban environment, working with ambitious partners, and drawing from a strong pool of competences are our secret ingredients.
‘Rain is in our DNA’ is a metaphor but it is also very much true. The frequent and heavy flows of water through the streets of Bergen have formed who we are and our mission.