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Integrating the ecosystem-based approach into municipal climate adaptation strategies : The case of Germany

Zölch, Teresa; Wamsler, Christine LU and Pauleit, Stephan (2018) In Journal of Cleaner Production 170. p.966-977
Abstract

Climate change impacts are a key challenge for sustainable urban development. To address this challenge, ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA), i.e., the use of ecosystem services and biodiversity to help people adapt to climate change, is increasingly being considered as an alternative or complement to traditional, engineering-based approaches (increasingly also known as nature-based solutions). However, little research on ecosystem-based adaptation has been carried out in urban areas, and empirical evidence of its effectiveness and uptake in strategic adaptation planning is particularly lacking. Against this background, this study investigates the implementation of urban EbA in strategic adaptation planning. Based on a comparative analysis... (More)

Climate change impacts are a key challenge for sustainable urban development. To address this challenge, ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA), i.e., the use of ecosystem services and biodiversity to help people adapt to climate change, is increasingly being considered as an alternative or complement to traditional, engineering-based approaches (increasingly also known as nature-based solutions). However, little research on ecosystem-based adaptation has been carried out in urban areas, and empirical evidence of its effectiveness and uptake in strategic adaptation planning is particularly lacking. Against this background, this study investigates the implementation of urban EbA in strategic adaptation planning. Based on a comparative analysis of all German municipalities with more than 100,000 inhabitants, it examines the integration of EbA into municipal adaptation strategies. The results show that there is, so far, no comprehensive uptake of the EbA concept. While current strategies differ significantly in their type, structure, scope, maturity and content, overall the EbA concept remains implicit. 76% of the assessed strategies include some kind of ecosystem-based adaptation measures, which focus on enhancing the conservation, restoration, creation or sustainable management of ecosystems, and 25% of all strategies highlight the multiple benefits of these measures. However, comprehensive approaches are missing. We conclude that better policy support and comprehensive mainstreaming of EbA (e.g., through more distributed urban governance, science-policy integration, combined top-down policies and bottom-up activities) is urgently needed to foster sustainable urban development.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Climate change adaptation, Ecosystem services, Ecosystem-based adaptation, Green infrastructure, Nature-based solutions, Urban planning
in
Journal of Cleaner Production
volume
170
pages
12 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85031923494
ISSN
0959-6526
DOI
10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.09.146
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
516d3b43-23f0-4015-825c-19af3c3a11b2
date added to LUP
2017-10-30 10:39:10
date last changed
2018-01-07 12:24:15
@article{516d3b43-23f0-4015-825c-19af3c3a11b2,
  abstract     = {<p>Climate change impacts are a key challenge for sustainable urban development. To address this challenge, ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA), i.e., the use of ecosystem services and biodiversity to help people adapt to climate change, is increasingly being considered as an alternative or complement to traditional, engineering-based approaches (increasingly also known as nature-based solutions). However, little research on ecosystem-based adaptation has been carried out in urban areas, and empirical evidence of its effectiveness and uptake in strategic adaptation planning is particularly lacking. Against this background, this study investigates the implementation of urban EbA in strategic adaptation planning. Based on a comparative analysis of all German municipalities with more than 100,000 inhabitants, it examines the integration of EbA into municipal adaptation strategies. The results show that there is, so far, no comprehensive uptake of the EbA concept. While current strategies differ significantly in their type, structure, scope, maturity and content, overall the EbA concept remains implicit. 76% of the assessed strategies include some kind of ecosystem-based adaptation measures, which focus on enhancing the conservation, restoration, creation or sustainable management of ecosystems, and 25% of all strategies highlight the multiple benefits of these measures. However, comprehensive approaches are missing. We conclude that better policy support and comprehensive mainstreaming of EbA (e.g., through more distributed urban governance, science-policy integration, combined top-down policies and bottom-up activities) is urgently needed to foster sustainable urban development.</p>},
  author       = {Zölch, Teresa and Wamsler, Christine and Pauleit, Stephan},
  issn         = {0959-6526},
  keyword      = {Climate change adaptation,Ecosystem services,Ecosystem-based adaptation,Green infrastructure,Nature-based solutions,Urban planning},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  pages        = {966--977},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Journal of Cleaner Production},
  title        = {Integrating the ecosystem-based approach into municipal climate adaptation strategies : The case of Germany},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.09.146},
  volume       = {170},
  year         = {2018},
}