Integration of ecosystem-based adaptation measures in urban planning : Insights from Copenhagen and Malmö

University essay from KTH/Hållbar utveckling, miljövetenskap och teknik

Abstract: A key challenge for sustainable urban development is to deal with the effects of climate change. To approach this issue, ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA), i.e. the use of ecosystem services for climate adaptation, has been promoted by both scholars and practitioners. In this context, the thesis addresses two research questions: how EbA is included in strategic climate adaptation planning and how EbA is implemented in practice. To tackle these topics, the study uses a multiple case study design, where the process from strategic planning to its implementation is investigated in two Northern European cities: Copenhagen and Malmö. To collect in-depth data, qualitative methods were used: a document analysis and semi-structured interviews with planning officials were conducted. The findings of the study show that there is a high degree of awareness of the different EbA measures, their potential role to address climate change effects and their co-benefits in climate adaptation plans. However, the practical implementation of the plans was executed only at a project-based scale to address some climate change impacts rather than holistically and on a regional level. The main EbA measure that was used was the expansion and transformation of public green space. The thesis concludes that a more comprehensive approach concerning the use of EbA is needed and further mainstreaming is highly required.

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