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Governance to reduce urban risk

Course video 20 of 40

Climate change policy – including both mitigation and adaptation - has become an essential component of urban policy. Cities around the world are beginning to understand the progress that can be made by managing policies that already exist, such as civil protection, health management, urban design and planning. The first video will briefly explain the differences between adaptation in natural and human systems and then focus, by means of examples, on one of the two typologies of adaptation that is reactive adaptation. In contrast to reactive adaptation, done in reaction to a disaster event, anticipatory adaptation involves deliberate policy decision based on the awareness that conditions have changed or are expected to change. In the second video several examples of anticipatory adaptation are presented in different countries across the world. The concept of autonomous adaptation, or adaptation done without any government support by citizens, is also introduced. The intention is that of showing how proactive, long term decisions about adaptation are overall less expensive than reactive, short term ones.Climate change costs and impacts are not evenly spread across countries. The third video will explain the underlying reasons for this divide rooted in political and socio-economic differences among countries influencing their ability to ultimately recover from disasters and put in place strategies to anticipate climate impacts. Based on the choice of adaptation frameworks the lecture will also explain what are some of the factors that influence what successful adaptation may look like. Climate resilience is a component of climate adaptation. There are at least 25 definitions of urban resilience in the academic literature. Although this signifies that urban resilience is a thriving topic in the field of urban studies, there are concerns that it is becoming an empty term. How can climate adaptation be related to urban resilience and what are the conceptual tensions surrounding the implementation of this desired characteristic on the ground? The fourth video will try to answer these questions by illustrating three of the six conceptual tensions present in urban climate resilience. The fifth video illustrates the last three tensions in applying the concept of urban climate resilience on the ground. It also illustrates some of the existing urban climate resilience frameworks developed by donor and multi-later agencies, explaining in more depth the components of climate resilience as understood by the Urban Resilience Framework developed by the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International, a comprehensive framework for resilience building. Many of the issues driving risk, and that need to be addressed to ensure adaptation, cut across geographical boundaries and sectors. Addressing these issues requires what is often referred to as multi-level governance. The sixth video will introduce the concepts of multi-level governance and adaptive governance, which will help you to make practical suggestions about appropriate strategies for urban climate change adaptation. The way in which decisions are made in cities has a significant impact on the way in which risk is addressed and the success of adaptation. Urban governance is not only a matter for local authorities, but involves a wide range of linkages within the city, from civil society to the private sector, and outside the city, from national to global institutions. The seventh video describes some of the key actors involved in governance for adaptation and risk, explores the relationships that they have to each other, and provides examples of different governance strategies that have proven successful in this area.

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