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Generic Response capacity

European cities and urban populations differ in their responses to climatic threats. Differences in economic, technological, institutional and social factors influence urban capacity to adapt to different hazards.

Generic response capacity refers to the general ability of a system to respond to climate change. Generic response capacity underscores the following questions: How high is awareness among urban populations about climatic threats? Are cities committed to climate action? What resources do cities have to help reduce vulnerabilities? Could people rely on their neighbours and fellow citizens, should floods or heatwaves occur?



The following maps indicate aspects of response capacity at city-level, including awareness and knowledge (depicted by education levels), urban governance (perceptions of cities' commitment to fight climate change), resources and socio-economic status (urban income levels) and levels of social trust (perceptions of trust towards other people).

Acknowledging the limitations of indicator-based approaches, these maps should not be taken at face value as representative of actual adaptive responses. Rather, jointly with indicators of climatic threats and sensitivity, they can function as entry points to more specific questions about how to decrease vulnerability to climate change in European cities.


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