European patterns of local adaptation planning: a regional analysis

Attila Buzási*, Sofia g. Simoes, Monica Salvia, Peter Eckersley, Davide Geneletti, Filomena Pietrapertosa, Marta Olazabal, Anja Wejs, Sonia De gregorio hurtado, Niki-Artemis Spyridaki, Maria Szalmáné Csete, Efrén feliu Torres, Klavdija Rižnar, Oliver Heidrich, Stelios Grafakos, D. Reckien

*Corresponding author for this work

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While European regions face a range of different climate hazards, little is known about how these differences affect local climate adaptation planning. We present an analytical framework for evaluating local climate adaptation plans (LCAPs) and apply it to 327 cities in 28 countries across different European regions. To do this, we use statistical methods to identify regional clusters based on overall plan quality, impacts, vulnerable population groups, and sectors addressed by LCAPs. By comparing both geographic and statistical clusters, we found (1) significant spatial heterogeneity across European cities but (2) higher average plan quality scores and more consistent strategies across cities in Central and Eastern Europe. Notably, we found no regional differences regarding (a) the climate impacts and vulnerable communities identified in plans: (b) the most commonly addressed impacts, which were urban temperature and changing precipitation patterns; and (c) the residents that cities identified as most vulnerable, namely older people, women, infants, and the sick. Our study provides a spatial analysis of European LCAPs to uncover regional policy perspectives on local climate adaptation issues. Such approaches can effectively inform broader EU, national and regional strategies that aim to support local adaptation planning in a context of multi-level governance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number59
Number of pages16
JournalRegional environmental change
Early online date11 Apr 2024
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024




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