5.3 How can I best apply mainstreaming adaptation into the existing urban policy framework and what instruments can I put in place?
The evaluation of the ongoing activities in various policy areas and sectors carried out under the previous steps and the dialogue with sectoral stakeholders will provide a municipality with an overview of adaptation mainstreaming opportunities in all the various sectoral policies.
The main essential entry points for adaptation that cannot be overlooked are urban planning, budgeting and risk management.
Town planning is an important entry point for mainstreaming urban adaptation. The review of several planning documents is required to identify options and strategies for urban adaptation. These include:
- Town and country planning acts and zoning regulations
- Existing land use plans
- Development control rules and building by-laws
- District planning manuals
- Building codes
- Urban Development Plan Formulation and Implementation guidelines
- City master plans
- Sustainable development strategies and plans
- Integrated climate change strategies and plans
- Disaster risk management and emergency response plans
- Specific sectoral strategies and plans, as detailed in Q2.5
Informed by a proper assessment of risks, city planners can employ many measures, including risk-based territorial planning, building codes, early warning systems and emergency response planning.
Mainstreaming adaption into budgets is also essential and can be easiest achieved for win-win solutions. Acquiring and prioritizing scarce resources to implement climate adaptation practices is another challenge. As noted above, the mainstreaming of adaptation decisions into all dimensions of government will allow implementation to occur over time using existing budgets and balancing incremental costs with the economic, environmental, and social values produced.
Given the current politics of climate change adaptation and the extent to which it is on the agenda, a useful approach may not be to focus on climate change per se but rather on improving preparedness, robustness of decision making and overall resilience. Risk management approaches along with economic analysis will help to target specific strategies to the most urgent, cheapest, or highest net-benefit activities.
EU City-specific information
- Planning for Climatic Extremes and Variability: A Review of Swedish Municipalities’ Adaptation Responses
- Guideline for Stress Testing the Climate Resilience of Urban Areas
- Urban climate adaptation and leadership
- NordRegio, ‘Climate Change Emergencies and European Municipalities: Guidelines for Adaptation and Response’
- Planning for Adaptation to Climate Change - Guidelines for Municipalities
- Urban adaptation to climate change in Europe 2016 - Transforming cities in a changing climate
- Adapting to Climate Change: Local areas' action
- Methods and Tools for Adaptation to Climate Change - A Handbook for Provinces, Regions and Cities
- Humanity on the move: Unlocking the transformative power of cities
International information for cities
EU General information
- Barcelona trees tempering the Mediterranean city climate
- Berlin Biotope Area Factor – Implementation of guidelines helping to control temperature and runoff
- Four pillars to Hamburg’s Green Roof Strategy: financial incentive, dialogue, regulation and science
- Implementation of the integrated Master Plan for Coastal Safety in Flanders
- Integrating climate change adaptation into coastal planning in Šibenik-Knin County (Croatia)
- Optimization of the mix of private and public funding to realise climate adaptation measures in Malmö
- Room for the River Waal – protecting the city of Nijmegen
- Zaragoza: combining awareness raising and financial measures to enhance water efficiency