In recent decades, adaptation to the impacts of climate change has become a key agenda for cities around the globe. A growing body of literature has already illustrated how cities are a key driver of climate change, its main victim and a promising site for action. Meanwhile, climate change has brought not only new responsibilities but also a new lexicon for urban practitioners. Concepts such as urban climate resilience and the idea of nature’s benefits for climate adaptation, embodied in the “green concepts” – nature-based solutions (NbS), ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) and blue-green infrastructure (BGI) – feature in the major global agreements. Still, they are often seen as vague, ambiguous, and therefore of limited practical value. Despite their prominence both in academia and policy discourses, their actual operationalisation and use on the ground remains understudied. This thesis aims to widen the existing scholarly knowledge by examining how urban climate resilience and ‘green concepts’ are used and operationalised at different levels of decision-making in the EU. Several bodies of literature contribute to the conceptual framework of the thesis: climate change adaptation in cities, scholarship specifically on these concepts, and studies on the role of framings and science-policy interface in environmental and climate governance. I use qualitative methods to analyse strategic policy papers and semi-structured interviews with city practitioners across Europe, plus a survey among European academics. The thesis is composed of three academic papers investigating the uptake of these concepts. Paper 1 compares the perceptions of conceptual tensions surrounding urban resilience among the EU academics and practitioners; Paper 2 looks at how urban resilience is operationalised in three science-policy projects financed by the EU; Paper 3 studies the uptake of NbS, BGI and EbA, which are seen as one of the key ways to enhance urban resilience, in urban green planning and management in four large Polish cities. This study provides a critical discussion of concepts’ operationalisation efforts and challenges and discusses the role of vagueness and uncertainty in their uptake. It contributes to the literature by expanding the geography of research beyond few ‘frontrunner’ cities as well as outlining some general tendencies in the European context.

Dealing with conceptual ambiguity on the ground: how practitioners in Europe operationalise the international policy rhetoric on urban climate adaptation / Baravikova, Aliaksandra. - (2020 Jun 26).

Dealing with conceptual ambiguity on the ground: how practitioners in Europe operationalise the international policy rhetoric on urban climate adaptation.

BARAVIKOVA, ALIAKSANDRA
2020

Abstract

In recent decades, adaptation to the impacts of climate change has become a key agenda for cities around the globe. A growing body of literature has already illustrated how cities are a key driver of climate change, its main victim and a promising site for action. Meanwhile, climate change has brought not only new responsibilities but also a new lexicon for urban practitioners. Concepts such as urban climate resilience and the idea of nature’s benefits for climate adaptation, embodied in the “green concepts” – nature-based solutions (NbS), ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) and blue-green infrastructure (BGI) – feature in the major global agreements. Still, they are often seen as vague, ambiguous, and therefore of limited practical value. Despite their prominence both in academia and policy discourses, their actual operationalisation and use on the ground remains understudied. This thesis aims to widen the existing scholarly knowledge by examining how urban climate resilience and ‘green concepts’ are used and operationalised at different levels of decision-making in the EU. Several bodies of literature contribute to the conceptual framework of the thesis: climate change adaptation in cities, scholarship specifically on these concepts, and studies on the role of framings and science-policy interface in environmental and climate governance. I use qualitative methods to analyse strategic policy papers and semi-structured interviews with city practitioners across Europe, plus a survey among European academics. The thesis is composed of three academic papers investigating the uptake of these concepts. Paper 1 compares the perceptions of conceptual tensions surrounding urban resilience among the EU academics and practitioners; Paper 2 looks at how urban resilience is operationalised in three science-policy projects financed by the EU; Paper 3 studies the uptake of NbS, BGI and EbA, which are seen as one of the key ways to enhance urban resilience, in urban green planning and management in four large Polish cities. This study provides a critical discussion of concepts’ operationalisation efforts and challenges and discusses the role of vagueness and uncertainty in their uptake. It contributes to the literature by expanding the geography of research beyond few ‘frontrunner’ cities as well as outlining some general tendencies in the European context.
urban resilience; resilience theory; adaptation; transformation; sustainability; resilient cities; science-policy interface; EU; operationalisation; nature-based solutions; blue-green infrastructure; ecosystem-based adaptation; Poland; concepts' uptake
Dealing with conceptual ambiguity on the ground: how practitioners in Europe operationalise the international policy rhetoric on urban climate adaptation / Baravikova, Aliaksandra. - (2020 Jun 26).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12571/9962
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