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Preparing the ground for adaptation Assessing risks and vulnerabilities to climate change Identifying adaptation options Assessing adaptation options Implementation Monitoring and evaluation

Identifying adaptation options

3.3 How do I identify the existing adaptation options in my city/town?

Adaptation does not always require new action. Adaptation often means considering climate change in activities that would be required for sustainable development of the city or when implementing new legislation (e.g. flood risk management plans under the EU floods Directive). Many tools are already available for cities to adapt e.g. leveraging existing work in disaster risk reduction or the current resource and infrastructure management arrangements and plans.


Recognising and further integrating adaptation into the existing policy lines and activities can be done either in combination with developing separate adaptation-specific actions and measures or it can also be implemented as the sole approach for adaptation action within a city or town. The choice will depend on the level of climatic threats, existing legal and institutional set-up, assignment of responsibilities and capacities across departments, funding availability and the strategic aims of adaptation.

To identify ongoing adaptation measures or potential entry points for adaptation the following steps can be taken:

  • Examine the key sectors as defined in Q2.5 for how they deal with natural disasters and bad weather situations.
  • Talk to relevant stakeholders in other city departments about planned initiatives to later assess them for adaptation mainstreaming possibilities.
  • Talk to the planning department and see what new developments are planned in particular with regard to infrastructure and land-use.
  • Interview sectoral associations, key big players, key physical asset holders identified in Q1.6 Who are the main (internal and external) players and stakeholders in adaptation processes and how do I involve them?
  • Screen sectoral and internal city policy documents and disaster risk management plans.
  • Check if there are there any initiatives for risk disclosure to investors in the private sector.

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