Understanding How and Why Cities Engage with Climate Policy: An Analysis of Local Climate Action in Spain and Italy.

  • Sonia De Gregorio Hurtado Technical University of Madrid, Department of Urban and Spatial Planning.
  • Marta Olazabal Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3)
  • Monica Salvia National Research Council of Italy - Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis (CNR-IMAA)
  • Filomena Pietrapertosa National Research Council of Italy - Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis (CNR-IMAA)
  • Eduardo Olazabal University of Lleida, Department of Geography and Sociology.
  • Davide Geneletti University of Trento, Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering.
  • Valentina D'Alonzo EURAC Research - Institute for Renewable Energy
  • Senatro Di Leo National Research Council of Italy - Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis (CNR-IMAA)
  • Diana Reckien Climate Change at the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Geo-Information Management (PGM) of the University of Twente in Enschede
Keywords: Climate Change, Cities, Mitigation Plans, Adaptation Plans.

Abstract

Cities significantly contribute to climate change while at the same time have government capacity to efficiently act in the fields of mitigation and adaptation. Their climate capacity is being increasingly recognized by international institutions and has been pointed out as crucial in the multi-level government scenario of the European Union (EU).

Addressing the challenges of climate change at urban level is a complex issue which requires a holistic approach to strategic urban planning. Understanding why and how cities start action can help to identify the barriers they face when addressing climate change, and how national governments, regions and international bodies can support local authorities in their climate fight. This work aims to contribute to the provision of knowledge necessary to have a better and deeper insight in urban climate action.

The study investigates the state-of-art of urban climate plans in two countries, Spain and Italy, which share similarities on many levels (i.e. cultural, geographical, climate vulnerabilities, urban configurations and institutional framework). The research analyses 26 Spanish cities and 32 Italian cities included in the Eurostat Urban Audit (UA), focusing on the actions taken by big and medium municipalities in reducing their contribution to climate change and to become more resilient to changing weather patterns.

The results of the analysis show a trend towards an increasing awareness on climate mitigation (highly focused on energy efficiency and the promotion of cleaner energy sources), while adaptation remains an incipient local policy area in both countries. The analysis identifies also the beneficial influence of national and international climate city networks.

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Author Biographies

Sonia De Gregorio Hurtado, Technical University of Madrid, Department of Urban and Spatial Planning.
Arch., PhD.  Researcher in the Department of Urban and Spatial Planning of the School of Architecture of the Technical University of Madrid.  She has developed her professional activity as practitioner in urbanism and architecture, and as researcher on urban matters.  Her research work focuses on urban dynamics and policies in the EU context under the lens of governance, particularly integrated urban renegeneration, urban mobility and climate change urban action.
Marta Olazabal, Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3)
Post-doctoral researcher at BC3 - Basque Centre for Climate Change. Funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) (FPDI-2013-16631). PhD in Land Economy, University of Cambridge. Main fields of interest in relation to urban sustainability, resilience and transformation. Currently working on projects related to urban complexity, governance and climate adaptation and mitigation.
Monica Salvia, National Research Council of Italy - Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis (CNR-IMAA)

Senior Researcher at CNR-IMAA. She holds a degree in Environmental Engineering (M.Sc.) and a Ph.D. in Methods and technologies for environmental monitoring. Monica has a strong background in energy systems analysis and models development and a solid experience in supporting local authorities on sustainable resource-efficient strategies. Research activities are mainly focused on climate change mitigation strategies, rational use of energy and renewable energy sources, waste management and smart cities.

Filomena Pietrapertosa, National Research Council of Italy - Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis (CNR-IMAA)

Senior researcher at the National Research Council of Italy –Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis (CNR-IMAA) since 2005. MS Degree in Environmental Engineering (2000) and Ph.D. in Methods and Technologies for Environmental Monitoring (2004). Research interests include energy system modeling and analysis with the MARKAL/TIMES model generators, assessment of environmental and economic impacts of the energy systems at local and national scale, computation of energy-environmental burdens and potential impacts of a product/process/activity (LCA), climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies at local scale.

Eduardo Olazabal, University of Lleida, Department of Geography and Sociology.
PhD student at the University of Lleida. His research is now focused on urban sprawl in medium-sized cities in Spain. MSc in Spatial and Environmental Planning and BSc in Geography (University of Zaragoza, University of the Basque Country and National Autonomous University of Mexico). He has previous experience as a researcher (Finnish Environment Institute and Tecnalia) in the fields of urban environment, spatial planning, ecosystem services, climate change and green urban infrastructures.
Davide Geneletti, University of Trento, Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering.

Associate Professor of Spatial Planning at the University of Trento. Specialised in impact assessment of projects, plans and policies; ecosystem services; multicriteria analysis. Formerly Research Fellow at Harvard University (2010-11), and Visiting Scholar at Stanford University (2014). He has consulted for private and public bodies internationally, including UNEP, UN-HABITAT, and the European Commission. Associate editor for Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal and Change and adaptation in socio-ecological systems.

Valentina D'Alonzo, EURAC Research - Institute for Renewable Energy
Researcher at the European Academy of Bolzano (EURAC), in the Urban and Regional Energy Systems group. Research activities are mainly addressed to integrate sustainable energy strategies in urban and regional planning, focusing on supra-local plans.
Senatro Di Leo, National Research Council of Italy - Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis (CNR-IMAA)

Researcher at the National Research Council of Italy – Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis (CNR-IMAA) since 2003. MS Degree in Environmental Engineering (2002) and Ph.D. in Methods and Technologies for Environmental Monitoring (2010).

Research interests focus on energy systems analysis and modeling with particular concern to the development of partial equilibrium models at different spatial scales, in order to assess the effects of energy‐environmental Researcher at the National Research Council of Italy – Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis (CNR-IMAA) since 2003. MS Degree in Environmental Engineering (2002) and Ph.D. in Methods and Technologies for Environmental Monitoring (2010).

Research interests focus on energy systems analysis and modeling with particular concern to the development of partial equilibrium models at different spatial scales, in order to assess the effects of energy‐environmental policies in the achievement of EU targets, climate change mitigation actions and sustainable development strategies. policies in the achievement of EU targets, climate change mitigation actions and sustainable development strategies.

Diana Reckien, Climate Change at the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Geo-Information Management (PGM) of the University of Twente in Enschede

Assistant Professor for Climate Change at the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Geo-Information Management (PGM) of the University of Twente in Enschede, the Netherlands. Her research often focuses on methods development—e.g. using Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping, GIS and statistics for the assessment of extreme weather impacts and socially sensible adaptation options—for applications in climate change policy and planning. She focuses on adaptation and mitigation planning in large urban areas in Europe, India and the US, with one of the most recent works assessing the preparedness of European cities with respect to climate change.

 

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Published
2015-10-20
How to Cite
De Gregorio Hurtado, S., Olazabal, M., Salvia, M., Pietrapertosa, F., Olazabal, E., Geneletti, D., D’Alonzo, V., Di Leo, S., & Reckien, D. (2015). Understanding How and Why Cities Engage with Climate Policy: An Analysis of Local Climate Action in Spain and Italy. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 23-46. https://doi.org/10.6092/1970-9870/3649