The Implementation Plan should help cities, their partners and relevant stakeholders to translate the long term vision and ambition into detailed projects, investments and policy changes. Such a pathway towards a climate proof and resilient city requires an intensive cooperation between public and private partners and close alignment of the various projects that constitute the vision and ambition.
The overall aim is to assure a smooth execution of the implementation plan, accepted by all stakeholders.
In order to get a clear overview of timelines, roles and responsibilities the scope of the implementation plan should be clear. Not all cities will develop an overall adaptation strategy and implementation plan, some prefer just partial and focused plans. That is not a problem, as long as a vulnerability assessment is in place, and the adaptation options have been assessed on their risk consequences, financial consequences and social consequences.
This step results in a clear overview of how the selected adaptation options can be implemented. It includes a shared elaboration of consequent steps and responsible partners.
The purpose of determining timeline, roles and responsibilities is to:
- align expectations, internally and externally
- detail the interconnections between the various projects and investments, to avoid unnecessary path dependencies and lock-ins
- explicate public and private interests of climate adaptive cities and contributing projects resulting in clear roles and partnerships
To do this, the process requires intensive co-creation, participation and transparency. the best way to do this is to organise intensive working sessions with the relevant stakeholders. The aim of such working sessions is not only to explore interdependencies and discuss how projects relate to each other, but also to stimulate ‘second order’. the implementation of adaptation measures will take time and trust within the consortium is of crucial importance. Second order learning refers to the process of reflection on your own incentives and interests and try to identify the opportunities for collaboration.
The Office of the Chief City Architect has a leading role in overlooking adaptation to climate change in Bratislava City. During development of both Strategy and Action plan for adaptation, a working/steering group was created which consisted of relevant departments, whose agenda overlaps with the different areas of adaptation, experts from research and academia, representatives of national level of governance, non-governmental organisations, municipal organisations, etc. Many of these have later taken up the role of the responsible or co-operating subjects in the implementation phase. Majority of members of this group prevailed as a supporting group during the implementation-focused project “Bratislava is preparing to climate change – pilot application of measures in the field of the sustainable rainwater management in urban area”. The timeline for adaptation options depends on their complexity and technological difficulty. To help set a timeline, it is useful to divide the options with respect to these demands. In the Strategy for adaptation to climate change in Bratislava a set of 16 strategic goals/activities was outlined and these were classified as either short term (1-3 years,), medium (3-5 years) or long term (up to 15-30 years).
The new climate air and energy action plan of the City of Paris has been adopted in March 2018. This plan includes 163 objectives and 589 actions. 16 objectives and 79 actions are linked with adaptation, and are split in 3 chapters: water (actions related to flooding and water scarcity), earth (actions related to greening and biodiversity) and fire (actions related to heatwaves).
One of the needs of the City of Paris (and more specifically the Urban Ecology Agency, in charge of the plan) was to prioritize actions and to know when these actions need to be launched, according to 3 time horizons:
- Period 1: Actions to be launched before mid-2020 (next mayor election)
- Period 2: Actions to be launched between mid-2020 and mid-2026 (date of mayor elections)
- Period 3: Actions to be launched after mid-2026
A methodology has been co-created with the City of Paris and RESIN. It follows a 2 steps approach: step 1) a Multi Criteria Analysis (MCA) to assign an urgency score for each action; step 2) a workshop to fine-tune the distribution of actions in the 3 time periods.
In the MCA, the following criteria was used to score the actions:
- Political will to launch the action before 2020: yes (score=1); no (score=0)
- Extent of time required to launch the action (meetings, public procurements, negotiations, need to learn more about the solution, etc.): Already launched (score=0); Low: 1 month (score=1); medium: 6 months (score=2) ; High: 2 years (score=3)
- End date objective (as defined in the Climate Action Plan): 2020 (score=3), 2024-26 (score=2), beyond (score=1)
- Dependency of one or several other actions, which can only be launched if this action is done : No (score = 0) / Yes for 1 (score= 1) / Yes for 2 (score = 2) / Yes for 3 (score=3)
For each criteria, the score was normalized to get a score from 0 to 1, and so was the final aggregated score. The final scores express the degree of urgency of the actions. The higher the score, the sooner the action needs to be launched.
Then, the actions were allocated to one of the 3 periods, according to their urgency score and the following rules:
- Period 1: All actions with a score of 1 for the criteria “The action needs to be launched before 2020”; and a score of 3 for the criteria “End date”
- Period 2: All remaining actions with the score of 2 for the criteria “End date”
- Period 3: All remaining actions
Finally, a workshop was organized to allocate the actions to finer time-blocks inside their period. Period 1 was divided into four 6-month blocks: Period 2 was divided into six 1-year blocks; and Period 3 was only one block. The following rules were applied:
- The person in charge of the Adaptation Strategy can pilot only the launch of 2 or 3 actions per block of 6 months (several actions must be piloted by other departments of the City)
- Actions that need to be done before launching one or several other dependent actions one need to be launched before the other(s).
This method, co-created with the City and RESIN partners, has helped the City of Paris plan when to launch the adaptation actions of the new Climate Action Plan. Having an urgency score enables to sort a large number of actions according to temporal criteria. Allocating the actions to different periods and blocks is flexible and the implementation plan can later be modified if needed.
Supporting tools and methods
Adaptive governance focuses on making policies that can anticipate and respond to an array of conditions that lie ahead, and can navigate towards successful outcomes when surprised by the unforeseen.