The impacts of climate change influence not only ecosystems, but also sociotechnical and political systems at different levels, generating long-term challenges. While international climate governance has long been on the research agenda, less is known about the sub-national (city) level. Cities (including their citizens), however, are important players to consider: they generate a high portion of emissions; adaptation strategies are most appropriate at the local level where climate change impacts occur; and cities, via urban planning, policies as well as investments in infrastructure and green technology, can strategically mitigate their contributions. Cities are part of the problem, and solution. Holistic approaches combining mitigation (to prevent further impacts) and adaptation (to prepare urban environments) are needed, including appropriate governance mechanisms and emerging sociotechnical configurations – the topics of this research.
This project examines the relationship between mitigation and adaptation in urban areas. This includes: local organizational structures, how mitigation and adaptation are framed and communicated within cities, as well as innovative sociotechnological concepts. Selected European cities are considered within a broader multilevel governance context, including the role of vertical (including international, European and national governing bodies) and horizontal governance structures (including city networks and regional cooperation).