Global climate change can have many effects with a strong impact on water availability, crop growth, urban heat stress, weather extremes, natural habitats, among others. Correspondingly, adapting to such a wide urban challenge requires a high-level integrated strategy which covers many sectors/disciplines.
As climate change touches upon many disciplines and sectors, municipalities often do not have one department which is the "problem owner" of climate adaptation. Therefore, many municipalities have no comprehensive climate change adaptation strategy due to a lack of "problem owner" and scattered expertise/responsibilities. In addition, smaller municipalities may lack of the necessary manpower to pick up a challenge of this proportion by themselves.
In order to identify which threats (or opportunities) climate change may pose to a municipality, it is important to get an overview of the relevant information coming from all the different sectors that may be impacted. After this is done, a roadmap can be developed towards building a municipal climate change adaptation strategy which covers all relevant sectors.
To put the topic of climate change adaptation on the agenda, a questionnaire has been developed. For this questionnaire, relevant experts within different municipal departments need to be contacted. Filling in the questionnaire results in an inventory of relevant information (and information gaps) for different themes (i.e. heat stress, flooding). Combined, the questionnaire gives a stress test based on which municipalities can decide whether or not it is urgent and/or useful to develop and implement a climate change adaptation strategy and if so, on which issues to focus. Moreover, the process will link up experts within the municipality from different departments, enabling further cooperation and integration between departments.
The stress test is relatively straightforward to apply. However, despite it covers many departments, it needs a single person to coordinate everything who also has the authority to demand action from employees across different departments.
FACILITATORY (PUBLIC) BODIES:
strategic planning department; environment and sustainability department; planning and development department; green spaces department; water and sewerage management department; socio-economic development department
LOCAL TASK FORCE:
professional expert; local or regional authority
urban region; (sub-) urban communities
MAIN NECESSARY RESOURCES ARE:
personnel time; expert knowledge; political back-up; public institutional set-up; legal legitimization
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