Observing, understanding, modelling, and managing water as a risk and a resource for urban systems, in terms of quantity and quality are major scientific and sustainable development challenges.

From MHYM to COP21

Achieving energy and ecological transitions to a sustainable, smart, resilient and attractive city requires qualitative leaps in observation, analysis, modelling and control of the interactions between urban systems and their environment.
This is a key question for the implementation of COP21 conclusions, but conventional approaches prove defective in comprehending the extreme variability of flows (material, energy) across large ranges of space-time scales. This is particularly the case for resilience to weather extremes, water and climate change. The HM&Co Laboratory was set up as a result of the rapid development of the eponymous axis at LEESU. This axis resulted from the Meteorology Hydrology and Multiplicité d’Échelles (MHYM) team, which was created in 2003 by École des Ponts ParisTech in partnership with Météo-France and rapidly expanded as part of the CNRS National Research Program in Hydrology. MHYM preceded the profound transformations of the Ministry responsible for the École des Ponts ParisTech (and Météo-France), which has progressively taken of charge the ecological issues, in particular climate change.

Approach and positioning

HM&Co contributes to the development of the most advanced concepts, methodologies and technologies to undo the current scientific locks, for instance:

  • passive and active remote sensing, high-resolution ubiquitous networks;
  • experimental sites of nature-based solutions for urban areas;
  • statistical and stochastic physics across scales;
  • multifractal analysis and simulations of complex systems;
  • hybrid (deterministic / stochastic) and parsimonious modelling;
  • interactions between weather and climate for adaptation and mitigation of climate change;
  • intermittence of renewable energies;
  • interactions between physico-environmental and socio-economic systems;
  • communication issues (especially participatory communication) in the transfer of innovations.

From a variety of projects to the fresnel platform

HM&Co has developed various projects over the last five years, notably European projects:

  • FP7- “SMARTeST”: Smart measurement systems for urban flood resilience;
  • PST Paris-Est, “Digital City” program: distributed hydrological modelling of urban catchments (Multi-Hydro digital platform);
  • FP7-ITN WAUDIT: intermittency and wind energy;
  • Interreg-NWE-IVB RainGain and RadX@IdF regional project: acquisition and implementation of a high-resolution hydro-meteorological radar, development of an associated platform;
  • Climate-KIC Blue Green Dream: multi-functional planning and management of the city, notably blue and green infrastructures, experimentations on the blue and green wave in Descartes campus.

HM&Co is involved in the TOMACS (Japan) research program and in the CASA (United States) and WISE (Korea) projects. HM&Co encouraged École des Ponts ParisTech to get involved in Climate-KIC and in the European Academy of Wind Energy.
These developments strongly benefited from the long-term partnership with Veolia in the framework of the Chair “Hydrology for Resilient Cities”. They led to the creation of the Fresnel multi-scale observation and modelling platform as part of the Co-Innovation Lab of École des Ponts ParisTech. Fresnel will facilitate synergies between research and innovation, as well as the pursuit of theoretical research, the development of a network of international collaborations, and various aspects of data science.