Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) measures have been increasingly promoted in the literature, as well as in policies and practices, for their environmental and socio-economic co-benefits. The recent scientific literature has shown a growing interest to assess climate adaptation plans at the urban level, in recognition of the important role played by urban areas in addressing climate change challenges. However, little information is available on the combination of these two issues, i.e., the actual inclusion of EbA measures in climate adaptation plans at the urban level. This paper addresses this gap by developing a framework to analyze the treatment of EbA in urban level climate planning, and apply it to a sample of climate adaptation plans in Europe. The framework consists of a classification of EbA measures, and a scoring system to evaluate how well they are reflected in different components of the plans. The results suggest that there is in general good awareness in plans of EbA measures, and of their potential role in addressing climate change challenges. However, their treatment in climate adaptation plans at the urban level often lacks sufficient baseline information, as well as convincing implementation actions. The paper concludes by offering recommendations to improve future practice, in terms of enhancing the baseline information to improve the proposal and design of EbA measures, improving the treatment of co-benefits associated to EbA measures, and strengthening coordination with other planning tools. Possible future development of this works include the integration of the proposed EbA classification, and the analysis of a larger sample of territorial plans.
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Land Use Policy is an international and interdisciplinary journal concerned with the social, economic, political, legal, physical and planning aspects of urban and rural land use. It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information from the diverse range of disciplines and interest groups which must be combined to formulate effective land use policies.
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