Why There Is More to Adaptation Than Creating a Strategy


Decision makers in cities and urban areas are key implementers of policy steps to meet the goal of curbing global warming to 1.5 °C compared to pre-industrial levels. This needs strong political leadership as well as major transitions in how both mitigation and adaptation are undertaken. However, as simple as adaptation to climate impacts can sound at the beginning, as difficult it becomes when working on it. Adaptation to climate change in urban areas is a complex process with mostly small scope for action. It requires the synthesis and integration of different approaches, methods, tools, interests and stakeholder engagement, all inside a rigid administrative and legal framework. The potential for an effective climate risk management including multiple sector-oriented adaptation actions is increased by combining local environmental and social information with regional projected climate impacts as well as different scales of potential risks. To positively influence the quality of life and the resilience of infrastructure in the future, it is necessary to consider first all possible impacts in planning and design processes in a strategy. Furthermore, the theoretical and legal framing needs to be transferred into operational adaptation actions. Thereby, the role of climate services will be further developed in a field currently still characterised by specific need for research.
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