Preconditions for implementation
Public actors and governance researchers can contribute to broadening the debate and addressing preconditions for successful policymaking and implementation of spatial adaptation measures.
Sound institutional settings
Coordination between stakeholders is crucial for the successful implementation of spatial adaptation measures. Currently, however, spatial adaptation is institutionally fragmented, falling within the jurisdiction of various public and private actors, such as municipalities, provinces, regional water authorities and housing corporations. Responsibilities and roles of the different actors should therefore be clearly distinguished and defined in policy guidelines.
Integration with vested interests
Spatial adaptation needs to be integrated with vested interests, such as parking space and housing. Until now, spatial adaption measures are mainly seen as costly additional claims on scare urban space which do not necessarily pay out in the short-term. The task of scientists is to inform stakeholders about their long-term benefits for climate resilience and human health to promote their acknowledgement in policy agendas.
Two-way communication between stakeholders is essential during the implementation process of spatial adaptation measures. This includes effective science-policy interactions and the involvement of citizens by policymakers who are responsible for the implementation of measures and transfer information between scientists and citizens. Until now, many local authorities struggle with organizing meaningful stakeholder participation.
Effective science-policy interactions
Policymakers (and citizens) should be able to understand and use the information provided by scientific institutes required for decision-making in spatial adaptation. It is therefore important that they also contribute to knowledge development (‘knowledge co-production'). For instance, their input is required to design tools, that translate climate projections into spatially explicit information, and to improve social and governance processes.
Furthermore, the involvement of citizens is critical for increasing societal acceptance and local adoption of spatial adaptation measures. The implementation of measures on private land (e.g. green roofs, removing tiles in garden) represents an essential mechanism of a city to adapt to climate change and urbanisation (‘citizen co-production').