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Adapting Cities : Ecosystem-based approaches and citizen engagement in municipal climate adaptation in Scania, Sweden

Brink, Ebba LU (2018)
Abstract (Swedish)
Även om vi skulle lyckas minska de globala utsläppen av växthusgaser, så finns det ett angeläget behov att anpassa samhället för att kunna motstå klimatförändringens skadliga effekter. Denna process kallas klimatanpassning. Städer står inför särskilda risker från klimatförändringen och nuvarande tillvägagångssätt, som ofta förlitar sig på tekniska lösningar och toppstyrd implementering, bedöms inte vara tillräckliga. Trots detta vet vi lite om hur nya tillvägagångssätt och aktörer införlivas och utövar inflytande i styrningen av städers klimatanpassning. Det finns speciellt lite forskning om medborgarnas roll i klimatanpassning i höginkomstländer.
Denna avhandling undersöker hur två metoder – ekosystembaserad klimatanpassning (EbA) och... (More)
Även om vi skulle lyckas minska de globala utsläppen av växthusgaser, så finns det ett angeläget behov att anpassa samhället för att kunna motstå klimatförändringens skadliga effekter. Denna process kallas klimatanpassning. Städer står inför särskilda risker från klimatförändringen och nuvarande tillvägagångssätt, som ofta förlitar sig på tekniska lösningar och toppstyrd implementering, bedöms inte vara tillräckliga. Trots detta vet vi lite om hur nya tillvägagångssätt och aktörer införlivas och utövar inflytande i styrningen av städers klimatanpassning. Det finns speciellt lite forskning om medborgarnas roll i klimatanpassning i höginkomstländer.
Denna avhandling undersöker hur två metoder – ekosystembaserad klimatanpassning (EbA) och ökat medborgarengagemang – kan bidra till att minska risken för extrema väderhändelser på lokal nivå. Jag använder en tvärvetenskaplig och blandad kvalitativ och kvantitativ metodik för att empiriskt undersöka klimatanpassningsprocesser i sydsvenska kommuner, och granska vetenskapliga bevis från urbana fallstudier över hela världen. I synnerhet undersöker jag hur och på vilken grund EbA tillämpas i städer; hur och av vilka skäl svenska medborgare engagerar sig i klimatanpassning; och vilka påföljder de två företeelserna fått i styrningen av lokal klimatanpassning.

Resultaten visar att EbA och medborgarengagemang huvudsakligen inte har skett på ett explicit och avsiktligt sätt, men kan stärka kommunal klimatanpassning och ta itu med underliggande riskfaktorer. Å ena sidan finns det växande erfarenheter av EbA i stadsmiljö både globalt och i det svenska sammanhanget, men dessa implementeras under olika termer (t.ex. ekosystemtjänster, grön infrastruktur) och saknar ofta ett långsiktigt strategiskt klimatriskperspektiv, såsom risk- och sårbarhetsanalyser i förhållande till nuvarande och framtida förhållanden. Å andra sidan identifierar jag hur medborgares engagemang i klimatanpassning – enskilt, gemensamt och i samverkan med kommunen – har haft betydande resultat för lokal klimatanpassning, men deras insatser har ofta dåligt stöd på kommunal nivå. Personliga erfarenheter av extrema väderhändelser är en stark drivkraft för aktiva medborgare, men faktorer som miljöengagemang och identifiering med plats spelar också roll. Medborgarengagemang i kommunens klimatanpassning kan se väldigt olika ut och innefattar samarbete (collaboration), tvistigheter (contestation), regeluppfyllande (compliance) och fria val (choice); alla visades påverka den lokala klimatanpassningen. Dessutom visar jag hur klimatförändringen kan skifta anpassningsansvar till medborgare utan någon speciell lagändring, vilket förmodas slå hårdast mot de som redan är mest riskutsatta. Samtidigt fann jag flera synergier mellan EbA och medborgarengagemang, och föreslår att EbA kan vara en bättre utgångspunkt för engagemang i klimatanpassning än tekniska åtgärder.

Utöver de empiriska insikterna om kommunala klimatanpassningsprocesser i Sverige gör denna avhandling tre viktiga bidrag: (1) den syntetiserar och bedömer forskningsområdet EbA i städer och identifierar viktiga kunskapsgap; (2) den utvecklar teori om medborgarengagemang i lokal klimatanpassning och presenterar ett analytiskt ramverk för ‘klimatanpassningsinteraktioner’ mellan medborgare och kommuner; och (3) den bidrar till den vetenskapliga diskussionen om hur transformativ, snarare än inkrementell, klimatanpassning kan se ut i praktiken.
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Abstract
Even if current attempts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions would succeed, society-wide adjustment to the harmful effects of climate change is urgently needed. This process is known as climate adaptation. Cities face particular risks from climate change, and there is increasing evidence that traditional approaches, which have often relied on technical solutions and top-down management structures, will not be enough. However, little is known about how new approaches and emerging actors are integrated into and exert influence in urban adaptation governance. In particular, there is a lack of research on citizens’ role in adaptation in the Global North.

This thesis investigates the role and potential of two approaches –... (More)
Even if current attempts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions would succeed, society-wide adjustment to the harmful effects of climate change is urgently needed. This process is known as climate adaptation. Cities face particular risks from climate change, and there is increasing evidence that traditional approaches, which have often relied on technical solutions and top-down management structures, will not be enough. However, little is known about how new approaches and emerging actors are integrated into and exert influence in urban adaptation governance. In particular, there is a lack of research on citizens’ role in adaptation in the Global North.

This thesis investigates the role and potential of two approaches – ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) and citizen engagement in adaptation – in reducing risk from adverse climate events at the local level. I do this by using an interdisciplinary and mixed methods approach, which entails reviewing scientific evidence from urban case studies worldwide, and empirically examining adaptation processes in south-Swedish municipalities. In particular, I examine how and on what basis EbA is applied in cities; how and for what reasons Swedish citizens engage in adaptation; and the implications of, and synergies between, the two approaches in local adaptation governance.

The results show that although, in the main, EbA and citizen engagement have not occurred in explicit and deliberate ways, they can support municipal adaptation and address underlying risk drivers. On one hand, there are growing experiences with urban EbA in both the global and Swedish contexts. These are implemented under a variety of terms (e.g., ecosystem services, green infrastructure) and often lack a strategic, long-term climate risk perspective, such as assessment of current and projected future risks and vulnerabilities. On the other hand, citizens’ engagement in adaptation – alone, together, and in interaction with municipalities – has had significant outcomes for local adaptation, but their efforts are poorly supported and/or channelled by municipalities. Citizens’ personal experience of hazards is a strong driver of action; however, factors such as ecological values and identification with place also play a role. At the municipal level, the identified modes of citizen engagement are diverse, comprising collaboration (two-way dialogue), contestation (challenge and confrontation), compliance (enforcing mandatory citizen action) and choice (stimulating voluntary citizen action) – all of which were found to shape local adaptation. In addition, I reveal how responsibility for adaptation is shifting to citizens without any change in laws or policy, which risks hitting hardest against those most at risk. Finally, I also identify synergies between the two approaches, and suggest that EbA may serve as a better entry point for citizen engagement in adaptation than technical measures.
Beyond the empirical insights about municipal adaptation processes in Sweden, this thesis makes three essential contributions: (1) it synthesises and assesses the field of urban EbA and identifies key research gaps; (2) it furthers theory on citizen engagement in local adaptation and presents an analytical framework for citizen–municipality ‘adaptation interactions’; and (3) it contributes to the academic discussion on how transformational, rather than incremental, climate adaptation may look in practice. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Driessen, Peter, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
organization
alternative title
Klimatanpassning av städer : Ekosystembaserade metoder och medborgarengagemang i kommuners klimatanpassning i Skåne, Sverige
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, ecosystem-based adaptation, ecosystem services, citizen engagement, participation, transformation, Sustainability Science, hållbarhetsvetenskap, klimatanpassning, katastrofriskreducering, ekosystembaserad klimatanpassning, ekosystemtjänster, medborgarengagemang, deltagande, transformation, kommunal planering
pages
116 pages
defense location
Ostrom, Biskopsgatan 5 (Josephson), Lund
defense date
2018-06-07 10:15
ISBN
978-91-984630-1-9
978-91-984630-2-6
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
13988b39-46e3-4ed3-88ca-59b6ab1602ff
date added to LUP
2018-05-14 12:52:34
date last changed
2018-05-29 10:37:13
@phdthesis{13988b39-46e3-4ed3-88ca-59b6ab1602ff,
  abstract     = {Even if current attempts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions would succeed, society-wide adjustment to the harmful effects of climate change is urgently needed. This process is known as climate adaptation. Cities face particular risks from climate change, and there is increasing evidence that traditional approaches, which have often relied on technical solutions and top-down management structures, will not be enough. However, little is known about how new approaches and emerging actors are integrated into and exert influence in urban adaptation governance. In particular, there is a lack of research on citizens’ role in adaptation in the Global North.<br/><br/>This thesis investigates the role and potential of two approaches – ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) and citizen engagement in adaptation – in reducing risk from adverse climate events at the local level. I do this by using an interdisciplinary and mixed methods approach, which entails reviewing scientific evidence from urban case studies worldwide, and empirically examining adaptation processes in south-Swedish municipalities. In particular, I examine how and on what basis EbA is applied in cities; how and for what reasons Swedish citizens engage in adaptation; and the implications of, and synergies between, the two approaches in local adaptation governance.<br/><br/>The results show that although, in the main, EbA and citizen engagement have not occurred in explicit and deliberate ways, they can support municipal adaptation and address underlying risk drivers. On one hand, there are growing experiences with urban EbA in both the global and Swedish contexts. These are implemented under a variety of terms (e.g., ecosystem services, green infrastructure) and often lack a strategic, long-term climate risk perspective, such as assessment of current and projected future risks and vulnerabilities. On the other hand, citizens’ engagement in adaptation – alone, together, and in interaction with municipalities – has had significant outcomes for local adaptation, but their efforts are poorly supported and/or channelled by municipalities. Citizens’ personal experience of hazards is a strong driver of action; however, factors such as ecological values and identification with place also play a role. At the municipal level, the identified modes of citizen engagement are diverse, comprising collaboration (two-way dialogue), contestation (challenge and confrontation), compliance (enforcing mandatory citizen action) and choice (stimulating voluntary citizen action) – all of which were found to shape local adaptation. In addition, I reveal how responsibility for adaptation is shifting to citizens without any change in laws or policy, which risks hitting hardest against those most at risk. Finally, I also identify synergies between the two approaches, and suggest that EbA may serve as a better entry point for citizen engagement in adaptation than technical measures. <br/>Beyond the empirical insights about municipal adaptation processes in Sweden, this thesis makes three essential contributions: (1) it synthesises and assesses the field of urban EbA and identifies key research gaps; (2) it furthers theory on citizen engagement in local adaptation and presents an analytical framework for citizen–municipality ‘adaptation interactions’; and (3) it contributes to the academic discussion on how transformational, rather than incremental, climate adaptation may look in practice.},
  author       = {Brink, Ebba},
  isbn         = {978-91-984630-1-9},
  keyword      = {Climate change adaptation,disaster risk reduction,ecosystem-based adaptation,ecosystem services,citizen engagement,participation,transformation,Sustainability Science,hållbarhetsvetenskap,klimatanpassning,katastrofriskreducering,ekosystembaserad klimatanpassning,ekosystemtjänster,medborgarengagemang,deltagande,transformation,kommunal planering},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {116},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {Adapting Cities : Ecosystem-based approaches and citizen engagement in municipal climate adaptation in Scania, Sweden},
  year         = {2018},
}