Community engagement in adaptation planning
Topic of the practice
Community engagement in adaptation planning for Bratislava by REC Slovakia, using good practice lessons of the City District of Nieuw-West Amsterdam
Good Practice Information
The GRaBS project is made unique by its focus on the social impacts of climate change, as well as environmental and economic. Achieving climate change adaptation which is socially just depends on effective participation of communities to deliver solutions. Amsterdam City District Nieuw-West's approach to community engagement described in their GRaBS Expert Paper sets out the principles for effective participation in adaptation planning, and suggests how to manage consultation locally and at more strategic levels. Guidance is also given on supplementing top-down approaches with bottom-up, by linking national policies and regional/local activities. Nieuw-West's participation principles were transferred to a number of partners who consulted with community groups and stakeholders during the development of their AAP. REC Slovakia provides a good example, whereby effective bottom-up community engagement provided legitimacy for the entire adaptation planning process. REC acted as facilitator between the local authorities and the climate change sector. Part of this facilitation role involved convincing stakeholders of the need to take a comprehensive approach to adaptation. This was achieved by setting up a community network to link together various Slovak organisations involved in planning for climate change, and feeding into the Bratislava Strategic Development Plan. Through events specifically created to highlight the need for adaptation and to promote the GRaBS project, awareness raising was carried out by using visuals relating to vulnerability in Bratislava and thermovision technology which is a central part of the REC Slovakia AAP. Attendees were presented with the opportunity to comment on the AAP and to influence development of documents of the Strategic Development Plan.
Evidence of success
This is good practice because the legitimacy of the bottom-up community engagement and the work of the GRaBS partner successfully highlighted the importance of climate change issues at a local level. This was important in Bratislava where there is no major tradition of such involvement. The setting up, through GRaBS of a community network resulted in the active participation of environmental organisations to deliver improvements to the Strategic Development Plan. Climate change challenges and adaptation and mitigation issues were fully incorporated as priorities under the objectives of improving the quality of the environment and urban spaces. The Bratislava Strategic Development Plan wass approved by the Municipal assembly in June 2010.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Town and Country Planning Association
Annex completed on: 11-21-2011