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Plans and Realisation - How European Urban Regions Proceed in Adaptation and Mitigation Planning

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Oliver Heidrich, Professor Richard DawsonORCiD


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It is argued that cities are both, the largest emitters of anthropogenic GHG-emissions but also the greatest challenge to reduce them. Besides that, cities might be called particularly vulnerable because of the large population densities exposing more people per space unit at risk when climate changes impact on a region. European cities, one might assume, are on the forefront of implementing mitigation and adaptation actions, as the science of climate change is now well established and widely accepted among policy makers and the public. European anthropogenic GHG emissions are high, many regions in one respect or the other affected by climate change like extreme heat waves and flooding have shown, and its governance based on a strong institutional, political and planning framework. Additionally, Europe is believed to be financially equipped to mitigate and/or adapt. These arguments imply an urgent need for new approaches to settlement design and planning in general in order to adapt the European cities to these new and increasing risks. One might assume that a wide variety of policy responses are emerging at local and regional levels. This paper looks into the reality of these assumptions. We're presenting a review of local and regional planning documents in over 180 European urban regions in 11 countries. We're assessing these planning documents and compare their foci in terms of mitigation and adaptation actions in general as well as with respect to particular sectors addressed in the documents. A qualitative comparison across cities and countries allows drawing conclusions with respect to potential, determing factors of Climate Change mitigation and adaptation planning.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Reckien D, Flacke J, Heidrich O, Dawson R

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Planet under Pressure: New Knowledge Towards Solutions

Year of Conference: 2012


Series Title: State of the World's Cities- An Overview of Interactions Between Cities and Global Environmental Change