Climate adaptation is often guided via a top-down approach by the EU and national legislation. However, adaptation action mainly occurs on the local level. There is still a lack of adaptation strategies and policies at the local (municipal or regional) level in the Baltic Sea Region – as also stated by the BSR Action Plan for Adaptation. This situation is likely to slowly improve, among others due to the developments on transnational level (e.g. the BSR Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and its above mentioned accompanying Action Plan as well as the EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change adopted on 29 April 2013).
Supporting urban climate adaptation
ClimUrban aims to act as a catalyst to speed up these local adaptation processes around the Baltic Sea – both on strategic and practical implementation level. The fact that adaptation to climate change is a multi-level governance issue requiring action at all levels are reflected in the project. The goal of the project is to support cities in the BSR region to develop appropriate climate change adaptation strategies – and potentially see towards their implementation. The main focus of adaptation lies on taking current and future flood hazards stronger into account in planning processes. One major issue of concern are, e.g. floods caused by storm waters, groundwater flooding, as well as riverine and marine flooding. By addressing groundwater floods the project also addresses groundwater quality and availability, which is a very important issue in the BSR as well.
ClimUrban aspires to contribute to the necessary awareness raising among local authorities, stakeholders and citizens on the need for local adaptation policies, as well as to a shared macro-regional knowledge and experience exchange among the participating municipalities.