Local climate action: Best practices in and for Alpine towns

Towns and urban spaces play a crucial role in climate change adaptation and mitigation. Their success in responding to the climate challenge depends on local cooperation and coordination, working across sectors and with communities. To facilitate communication and exchanges on this topic, an online peer-learning workshop on local climate action in Alpine towns was organised on 18 June 2021.

The workshop explored best practice examples of climate action in towns through expert presentations on green infrastructure in the cities of Bolzano (IT), Lugano (CH) and, beyond the Alps, in Glasgow (UK) and on governance and strategic planning in Brig-Gils (CH) and Kempten (DE). You can download the presentations here. A main takeaway was that climate-smart spatial planning is a process that must be done together in cooperation with all relevant participants, first and foremost the inhabitants.

The speakers also emphasised the growing role and importance of environmental data in supporting urban climate action and in particular, the need for correct data collection, processing, management and use. This data should always be public, and the methods and procedures used to measure it should be accessible to all.

Finally, the speakers insisted on the urgency to act both on adaptation to climate change and mitigation and encouraged regular exchanges between cities and towns to learn from each other.

The workshop concluded with an outlook for the topic of Alpine towns from the Swiss Presidency of the Alpine Convention. Alpine towns are one of the priorities of the Presidency, in particular the climatic, environmental, and social challenges they face. Together with Alpine towns and other partners, Switzerland has launched the “Climate action in Alpine towns” pilot in the framework of the Territorial Agenda 2030. The aim of the project is to empower towns and their citizens to develop creative ideas and to use rapid, “bottom-up” actions to foster the development and implementation of long-term climate strategies in spatial planning. Its results will also feed into the 9th Report on the State of the Alps dedicated to the topic of Alpine towns.

The workshop on climate action in Alpine towns was organised by the Swiss Federal Office for Spatial Development ARE with the support of the Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention and ESPON.


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