The Urban Adaptation Support Tool - Getting started
0.3 What is adaptation to climate change and why does it matter in my city/town?
Current and future changes in the earth’s climate are unavoidable. Even with the highest level of mitigation effort we are exposed to climate impacts now and in decades and centuries to come due to the long lifetime of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere already emitted. Climate changes represent both risks and opportunities. Adaptation is the process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects, seeking to moderate harm or exploit beneficial opportunities. As described in Q0.1.
Cities in Europe are vital centres of economic activity, innovation, employment and population. Currently many European cities face problems and challenges from pressures such as overcrowding, ageing infrastructure, increasing congestion and competition for services. Such pressures can lead to social problems and unemployment in urban neighbourhoods and environmental problems such as pollution from transport and industry. These problems can often affect a much broader area than the city itself, as demands for energy, waste management and other resources such as water reach far beyond the administrative boundaries of the city.
Cities often concentrate infrastructure within the same geographic area, thereby linking many critical systems. In the case of extreme weather events and resulting impacts, there would be knock-on consequences for the country. Climate change impacts might intensify these problems, but may also provide opportunities for new developments and business. Therefore, adaptation to climate change is not only important for the sustainable development of cities and towns, but also to keep the damage and the economic losses at a minimum.
Due to their direct experience of the already felt impacts of climate change and high understanding of the need for adaptation action, cities and towns across Europe are already pioneering adaptation in their country and creating a nudge for national-level processes.
EU City-specific information
- Towards resilience and transformation for cities within a finite planet
- UNDERFUNDED, UNDERPREPARED, UNDERWATER? - Cities at risk
- Climate change adaptation: Empowerment of local and regional authorities, with a focus on their involvement in monitoring and policy design
- Climate Change and Cities: First Assessment Report of the Urban Climate Change Research Network
- Climate change planning for regional and local authorities
- Towards the Metropolitan City: adaptation strategies to climate change using new technologies and integrated approaches for e-governance and spatial planning decision-making
- Planning for Adaptation to Climate Change - Guidelines for Municipalities
- Urban adaptation to climate change in Europe 2016 - Transforming cities in a changing climate
- Climate change response in Europe: what's the reality? Analysis of adaptation and mitigation plans from 200 urban areas in 11 countries
- Humanity on the move: Unlocking the transformative power of cities
- On urban resilience - expert thoughts on the urban adaptation challenge
- Adaptation Compass
- Urban adaptation to climate change in Europe - Challenges and opportunities for cities together with supportive national and European policies
- CLImatic Planning And Reviewing Tools for regions and local authorities
- Cities, Climate Change and Multilevel Governance
- Integrated assessment technologies to support the sustainable development of urban areas
EU General information
International information for cities
- Cities and Climate Change: National governments enabling local action
- Cities and Climate Change: an urgent Agenda
- Climate change adaptation in Delta Cities
- Guide to Climate Change Adaptation in Cities
- Cities and climate change global report on human settlements
- How climate change action is giving us wealthier, healthier cities
- The political underpinnings of cities’ accumulated resilience to climate change
- Protecting our Capital - adaptation in cities creating resilient place for business
- Climate Change and Cities: Second Assessment Report of the Urban Climate Change Research Network
- Changing Climate, Changing Communites: Guide and Workbook for Municipal Climate Adaptation
- Environment and Urbanization - Towards transformative adaptation in cities: the IPCC's Fifth Assessment
- Climate-Focus-Paper Cities and Climate Change
- Cities and Climate Change (OECD)