To adapt to climate change is a complex challenge. The process of developing and executing an urban climate adaptation plan is complex, for several reasons:

  • It is faced by uncertainties on trend and impacts
  • Many  stakeholders are involved with different interests and responsibilities
  • The plans have to match and integrate with various other urban goals and restrictions

This is why certain challenges are common to many adaptation initiatives and many stages of development and execution. The main areas where these challenges are found, are:

Involving stakeholders, establishing a clear role definition, getting commitment and communication


Monitoring, evaluation and reshaping implementation planning


Developing business cases for climate adaptation plans


Integrating climate adaptation planning and urban planning, sectoral and mainstreaming


Dealing with uncertainty and complexity in climate adaptation policy


Like the decision framework, the frequently encountered challenges pages aim to provide support in certain aspects of the creation of a climate adaptation plan. In contrast to the pages in the decision framework, the challenges addressed here are not specific for one step or phase of the process, but are relevant throughout large parts of or even the entire process. This means that the decision framework will refer to the generic advice on a frequently encountered challenge wherever this is relevant to a specific aspect, and the frequently encountered challenges will refer to the various aspects in the decision framework where this challenge is most often encountered. The relation and difference between both entries is depicted graphically below.