The aim of this technical paper is to provide the state-of-play in policy and practice for assessing social vulnerability and developing socially just adaptation responses to climate change in urban areas in Europe.
The paper is organized as follows: It describes how the present-day understanding of social vulnerability and equity in relation to climate change impacts and adaptation options have evolved (Chapter 2) and how this understanding can inform the way assessments and adaptation planning and guidance are designed (Chapter 3). A collection of case studies describes how the principles have been implemented in European cities (Chapter 4). The findings of the paper have been discussed with a group of experts during a dedicated workshop. Chapter 5 summarises these discussions and Chapter 6 draws the conclusions from the paper and the recommendations provided by the experts.
The insights provided by this paper can potentially contribute to a discussion about the need for changes in (urban) adaptation policies which aim to decrease the social inequalities and injustice caused by climate change impacts and by creating more just adaptation solutions. Such a debate should inform adaptation planning in cities, and also the on-going process of evaluating the EU Adaptation Strategy and the integration of existing guidance documents for cities.