Climate Change Adaptation & Resilience

30 October 2018

Ghent and Rotterdam share their “Climate Resilient Cities and Infrastructures” with European community during European Week of Cities and Regions

Just days after the IPCC published its Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, setting a new urgency for climate action within the next 12 years, ICLEI Europe welcomed over 100 representatives of municipalities, European institutions and researchers to the conference “Climate Resilient Cities and Infrastructures 2018” in Brussels (Belgium).

Key discussion points included the need for decision support tools for climate adaptation planning and the benefits of standardized risk and vulnerability assessment. A representative of ICLEI Member city Ghent (Belgium) and climate experts of the European-funded RESIN project discussed how work on climate adaptation in European cities has progressed over the past three years.
“We needed to convince [colleagues in other departments] that climate adaptation was not a barrier to their work, but could support it” said Eva Naessens, City of Ghent.

The audience also heard from Arnoldas Milukas, Head of Unit, H2020 Environment and Resources, EASME and Ingrid Konrad, Chief City Architect, City of Bratislava (Slovakia).

In parallel sessions, participants explored these outputs in greater depth: the urban adaptation e-Guide, the European Climate Risk Typology, the IVAVIA impact and risk assessment methodology, and the Adaptation Options Library.

On the question ‘Where will adaptation research go from here?’ panellists including Corjan Gebraad of ICLEI member city Gemeente Rotterdam (The Netherlands) suggested more meaningful climate impact indicators at the city scale, improved multi-level governance and a stronger focus on action-oriented research approaches involving social scientists as the next steps in urban climate adaptation.

In the closing discussion, project coordinator Peter Bosch, TNO, noted that international policy frameworks and local action are moving closer together. While at the beginning of RESIN many people working in cities seemed not to know what the Sendai framework was, “now, on a very practical level, people are realising that there is the need to link the energy transition to climate adaptation and on the city level to translate the SDGs to something tangible.”

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