Climate change adaptation study visits: Exploring best practices in Denmark and Sweden

June 8, 2023

UNDP organized study visits to discover successful climate change adaptation actions employed by the Copenhagen and Stockholm municipalities

As part of the “Enhancing Adaptation Action in Türkiye Project” of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) aiming to increase societal resilience in Türkiye against climate change through adaptation, particularly at the sector and city scale, study visits were conducted to Denmark and Sweden on 8-11 May 2023. 

The visits were attended by experts from the Turkish Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change, as well as representatives from the project’s pilot municipalities of Konya, Sakarya, Samsun, and Muğla. The participants explored climate change adaptation actions, sustainable and nature-based solutions employed by the Copenhagen and Stockholm municipalities. The visits provided unique opportunities for municipalities to gain valuable insights for the development of effective strategies and actions to combat climate change.

The Environmental and Technical Department of Copenhagen Municipality was the first stop, where Copenhagen's adaptation action plan and strategies were shared, serving as a guide for both implementing the pilot cities’ local climate change adaptation strategies and action plans, and enhancing their technical capacity. Additionally, visiting a resilient neighborhood in Copenhagen showcased effective solutions against flooding and extreme weather events through permeable surfaces, green roofs, and rainwater collection systems. 

Information sharing sessions, including a visit to the European Environment Agency aimed to empower organizations and facilitate collaboration, leading to more effective climate action. Participants gathered information about ClimateADAPT, Europe's adaptation platform, and presented the upcoming Climate Portal, which is established as part of the project as Türkiye's first and only destination for combating climate change. 

The final stop of the visit was Stockholm Municipality, known for its pioneering efforts in climate action and urban development. The focus was on examining the municipality's initiatives in sustainable urban development, energy efficiency, green spaces, and waste management, including examples of sustainable industrial development.

One of the intriguing aspects of the visits was the strong presence of participatory methods and awareness campaigns in Denmark and Sweden on climate change. During the four-day visits, it was noted by the participants that in the fight against climate change, not only technical aspects but also raising awareness and fostering active participation play a crucial role. 

Embracing study visits as a means of exploring climate change challenges and solutions can contribute significantly to the local and global efforts aimed at building a sustainable and resilient future. 

The project, funded by the European Union and the Republic of Türkiye, with the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change as the implementing agency and UNDP Türkiye as the implementing partner, is nearing completion in its efforts to develop local adaptation strategies and action plans for the pilot municipalities.