Enhancing the resilience of midsize cities to climate extremes: A tool for practitioners to assess their governance context

Gül Özerol*, Hans Bressers

*Corresponding author for this work

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With increasing awareness and impacts of climate change, many cities strive for resilience to absorb and recover from shocks and disruptions from climate extremes. Working towards making a city climate resilient implies the design and adjustment of strategies, which often involve water-related projects and require cross-sectoral collaboration. Various tools and approaches exist to support cities in assessing and improving their climate resilience. However, they often address the characteristics of large cities, and few of them consider how the governance context, including social, institutional and political circumstances, affects the implementation of strategies and projects. Tailor-made tools are needed for midsize cities to address their specific characteristics and assess their governance context. This paper presents such a governance assessment tool for practitioners in midsize cities. Building on an existing governance assessment tool, we co-designed and applied a practitioners’ tool in collaboration with seven mid-size cities in the North Sea Region. The tool guides the practitioners in midsize cities to assess how the governance context affects the realization of strategies and projects towards urban climate resilience. Experience of the practitioners that applied the tool indicate that it is easy to use and provides insights into supportive and restrictive aspects of governance, with room for improvement regarding formulation of the assessment questions and answers. While the tool is relevant for other policy fields, its application would require re-tailoring the questions and answers to the specific context of those fields.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100080
Number of pages10
JournalTotal Environment Research Themes
Early online date29 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


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