To achieve the research objectives of the IRIS-Fire project, and ultimately help mitigate the large scale fires that can occur, six technical, dissemination and capacity building work packages have been created.
Snapshot surveys of the informal settlements will provide stochastic data to be used in the modelling and fire experiments.
Interviews will understand regulatory and policy contexts of the resilience cycle for informal settlements with respect to fire.
Controlled experiments on real scale informal dwellings will occur in the UK and in South Africa.
Single and double dwelling experiments will occur in the UK, while large area fire experiments will occur in the South Africa.
New numerical modelling tools will be developed to capture the nature of informal settlement fire spread.
Input data will be gathered from WPs 1 and 2, and will feed directly into WP4.
Use of current and historical satellite data, with quantified experimental and modelling analyses, to produce a framework able to identify and quantify fire risks within informal settlements.
Develop better practical, evidenced-based guidelines, grounded in the current social, economic and political realities, to improve the resilience of the informal settlements against fire.
Guidelines will be developed with stakeholders within the settlements and the municipalities to ensure they are appropriate and achievable.
Capacity building will be delivered through continuing professional development workshops and seminars, university short courses, and specific informal settlement fire resilience workshops.
The IRIS-Fire team, led by Lesley Gibson will be holding a fire workshop at the 2019 Festival of Creative Learning on Tuesday 19 February 2019.
Any University of Edinburgh staff or student may sign up for the event and but we think it may especially appeal to those with interest in: Fire, urban planning and design, geography and anyone interested in urbanisation in the Global South.
Fires in informal settlements are devastating to those living in these urban environments. After a fire, urban redesign (known as reblocking) can take place to facilitate the provision of formal services such as water and sanitation. Basic fire safety such as adequate spacing between homes may be implemented but innovative fire reduction design is usually not considered.
This workshop will introduce participants to the challenge of informal settlement fires, and will then enable participants to consider fire spread reduction in the designing of a reblocked informal settlement through practical learning and experimentation. Participants will work in teams to decide on a design which they will build out of prefabricated modelled dwellings. All teams will have an equal number of modelled dwellings and will be challenged to arrange the dwellings within a predefined space with a focus on fire spread prevention. At the end of the workshop a fire scientist will be invited to select a dwelling to set alight and we will observe the fire spread of each team’s modelled reblocked settlement and discuss the effectiveness of the various designs.
We have been working on the design of dwellings for the experiment and have a combination of steel and cardboard dwellings. Single dwellings, double dwellings and L-shaped dwellings.
The single dwellings are complete and testing of fuel load and optimal distance has started. Once we have the double and L-shaped dwellings welded together, we will finalise the number of dwellings for each team (it is looking like around 50 at the moment) and the density at which teams will need to arrange their dwellings.
There is plenty of creative learning happening for the organisers of this event and we can’t wait to welcome participants to learn alongside us.