Climate change is a real challenge that requires the strengthening of adaptation actions at different levels, (national, regional and local), to prevent extreme events that, on the basis of forecasts, would increasingly affect our cities.
In this context, the main goal of ACT project – Adapting to Climate Change in Time – was to develop a Local Adaptation Strategy, by means of a well-defined, integrated and participated methodological process, that was also shared by all local actors on the territory. This strategy is meant to take into consideration the environmental, social and economic impacts of climate change to increase the resilience of cities dealing with the phenomenon. The methodology has been implemented by the three local partners of the project – the Municipalities of Ancona (Italy), Bullas (Spain) and Patras (Greece). Although every area has its own peculiarities, the Mediterranean basin regions – some of the most vulnerable areas to climate change – face similar issues; for this reason it has been possible to identify a common methodology and process to be replicated in several contexts.
The project had the following objectives:
- Definition of an integrated methodology to support local governments in the creation and implementation of adaptation actions aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change in urban areas;
- Development of Local Adaptation Plans for each project partner city;
- Improving the competences of local authorities in understanding the impacts and effects of climate change on the territory and on the local communities, as well as in planning and implementing appropriate policies and projects;
- Raising awareness of local actors (industries, citizens, health system, Civil Protection Department, etc.) on local adaptation strategy, facilitating the dialogue between Public administration, Research centers and Private sector.
Fasi del Progetto
The main project phases were the following:
- Project management: in addition to the establishment of a coordinating group for the whole project and partnership, in each partner city Local Adaptation Boards (multidisciplinary and intersectoral working groups) were created;
- Baseline scenario and capacity building: in this phase all available data were collected and selected and the local climate forecasting scenario was elaborated. Capacity building activities on risk assessment and planning were also carried out;
- Local Impact Assessment: a road map was developed to guide local authorities (through a common methodology) towards an integrated adaptation strategy for their territories, taking into account economic, social and environmental references;
- Local adaptation strategies: this part focused on the development of local adaptation plans for Ancona, Bulls and Patras. In addition, through a peer review process, an evaluation of the results was carried out that led to the development of the methodological guidelines for the local authorities interested in developing a similar path;
- Communication and dissemination of results, in particular, of the Guidelines.
ACT project, through a participatory and shared process between local actors, has led to the definition of an integrated methodology and the creation of tools to support local administrations in the creation and implementation of adaptation actions aimed at reducing the climate change impacts in urban areas (eg. flood/flooding, landslide risk, air pollution etc.). This also paved the way for starting local resilience paths, considered fundamental for the future of communities, in the three partner cities.
The main results of the project were:
- Creation of Local Adaptation Boards - LAB (working groups) composed of individuals internal or external to the local authorities, which include representatives of the following sectors: environmental protection, soil safeguard, protection of water resources, civil protection, infrastructure, trade and industry, tourism, communication. The LAB allowed to launch a multi-level participation process and to deal with this kind of issues from the perspective of a public-private partnership;
- Elaboration of a Road Map to support the cities in the implementation of an integrated strategy of local adaptation. The document, on the basis of local impact assessments performed by each municipality, was designed to support the needs of start-up activities and the subsequent development of the path for adopting Local Adaptation Plans; to identify the most vulnerable sectors upon which to build the Plans; to define the approach and the strategic direction to be taken at a local level; to provide useful recommendations for the construction of an effective process of adaptation;
- Publication of the “Climate change impact assessment and local vulnerability” analysis about climate change impacts on the environment and socio-economic systems in the cities of Ancona, Bullas and Patrass;
- Definition of 3 Local Adaptation Plans officially approved by the municipal councils of the three pilot cities. Plans were defined through a participatory path and with the involvement of different local actors from the main sectors engaged in the project (urban planning, construction, water management, health, hydrogeological risk management, industrial risk management) and had the priority to fight climate change by increasing the resilience of individual communities;
- Publication of the guidelines “Planning for adaptation to climate change” for municipalities. The purpose of the Guidelines is to grant practical and operational support to public administrations interested in starting a process towards adaptation to climate change, and in particular to the local authorities in the Mediterranean basin where similar vulnerabilities – with respect to those identified in the areas investigated during the project – might be experienced. The approach proposed is not intended to provide prescriptive format to users – there is no one approach that best suits all – but it rather aims at providing local administrators with basic theoretical concepts on key climate adaptation issues as well as at sharing examples of the successful experiences acquired during the project;
- Awareness of local actors (industries, citizens, health system, Civil Protection Department, etc.) on climate change issues and the related Adaptation Strategy.