Biarritz © Adobe Stock

Risks of Flooding and Erosion on the Basque Coast: UPPA Participates in “Regions4Climate” EU Project

Through its joint research laboratory Kostarisk, University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour is participating in a major project to monitor and protect the coastline of St-Jean-de-Luz, in partnership with the Basque Country Agglomeration Authorities.

The European Union project Regions For Climate (R4C) aims to test tangible cross-border solutions (environmental, social, technological, digital, governance) to climate change. More than 3.5 million euros will be invested in the Basque Country to address the risks of flooding and erosion on the Basque coastline.

Several partners are involved in this project: the Basque Country Agglomeration Authorities, the Basque Coastal Scientific Interest Group, the SUEZ Rivages Pro Tech center located at the Izarbel Technopole in Bidart, the University of Pau and the Pays de l’Adour (Anglet campus) and AZTI, a technology center located in the Spanish Basque Country, the latter three being grouped together in the joint research laboratory on coastal risks Kostarisk .

R4C actions in the Basque Country

The actions implemented locally will be of two types:

  • The development of early warning tools and real-time monitoring of wave-submergence risks: installation of videometric measurement stations and development of digital models capable of predicting energy, water levels and the impact of storms on two sites, an urban site, the bay of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, and a natural site, the beach of Erromardie.

  • The deployment of a system for monitoring the behavior of protective structures such as breakwaters (Artha dike) in extreme conditions, and experimentation with strategies for reinforcing natural rock barriers that promote wave dissipation upstream of vulnerable areas of the sea shore.

The cross-border dimension of this project is essential since the French and Spanish rocky coasts forming the Basque coastline are both highly urbanized and have the same typology, thus concentrating common issues and solutions. Similar actions will be conducted under the coordination of the government of the Spanish Basque Country, in connection with the technology centers AZTI, Tecnalia and Zabala, especially to strengthen exchanges and cross-border collaboration.

Socoa Fort in St-Jean-de-Luz © Adobe Stock


The Regions4Climate Project

The Regions4Climate project started in January 2023 and will last five years. Coordinated by the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) and bringing together 44 partners from 13 European countries, it has received a total grant of 24.5 million euros from the European Commission as part of the Horizon Europe research and innovation funding program on the theme of “Large-scale demonstrators of climate resilience creating cross-border value.”