Global survey on climate change and adaptive cities

4 May 2018

Are cities sufficiently prepared for climate change? A recent report by environmental policy researcher James Patterson (IVM-VU) presents a summary of findings from a global survey of institutional innovation in 96 cities across the globe. The report focuses institutional innovation occurring in cities, possible explanatory factors for these changes, and potential outcomes/effects.

The report is a first step in disseminating survey results while further in-depth analysis is being conducted. The report aims to provide broad insights relevant to policymakers, practitioners and researchers.

The role of institutions

Institutions influence to a large extent whether or not cities are adaptive in the face of evolving pressures, shocks, and societal expectations under climate change. Yet existing institutions are widely considered to be inadequately prepared for these challenges. Institutional innovation is needed to enable cities to better prepare for climate change impacts and risks.

Informing climate adaptation

The report aims to provide broad insights to policymakers, practitioners and researchers that can inform efforts to create adaptive cities in order to safeguard against water-related risks and vulnerabilities under climate change.

Publication details

Patterson, J.J. 2018. Adaptive cities? Institutional innovation under climate change: A global survey of 96 cities. April 2018. Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), VU University Amsterdam, and Open University of The Netherlands.

The report is available in English and Spanish language versions.

James Patterson

James Patterson is a Research Fellow in the Department of Environmental Policy Analysis at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM).

His current research project is titled: 'Institutional Innovation for Adapting to Climate Change in Water Governance within Cities (INNOVCITIES)'. This project investigates types and mechanisms of institutional innovation occurring in cities for enhancing adaptability under climate change. It is funded by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Individual Fellowship (grant No. 659065).


Published by  IBED Water