It was clear that urban governments are at the heart of successful climate adaptation, however, with one of the conference themes being financing, many speakers lamented that cities have a very small amount of overall budget to dedicate to resilience work. During the 'financing resilience' plenry, it was suggested that adaptation ideas need to be marketable to multiple audiences - in other words, sell the same adaptation idea's various facets in different ways depending on who you're asking for funding. Mayor Dianne Watts of Surrey, British Columbia was very well received, telling the story of how her community was able to get innovative adaptation measures off the ground by not waiting around for funding from outside partners, but instead being creative. For example, Surrey was able to protect biodiversity without external funding by giving density bonuses to developers and adding a levy to development. She also recommended setting up Public-Private Partnerships and ensuring there is a value-back for the private sector to engage them.
Other congress themes included:
- Adaptation planning and policy
- Resilient building and infrastructure
- Data for local resilience
- Ecosystem-based adaptation
- Researcher-practioner collaboration
For more in-depth coverage of sessions and congress content, please visit resilient-cities.iclei.org
Mayor Jurgen Nimptsch, City of Bonn, praised the successful Mayors Adaptation Forum which he said has helped to focus in on priorities and debates to come. Many fresh ideas came out of the meeting of local leaders, and he ranked it as acheiving Tripple-A status: Ambition, Action, Alliances!
Resilient Cities 2014 also gave ICLEI Canada the chance to launch a couple of new resources to an international audience, in-person. The newest addition to our Nexus Series, 'Finding the Nexus: Exploring Climate Change Adaptation and Planning,' was very well received during a session on local integrated climate action from an urban planning perspective. For more information about the resource, click here. Seeing as Ecosystem-based Adaptation was a conference theme, it was on the minds of many, and our new 'biodiverCities:A Primer on Nature in Cities' piqued a lot of interest. Check out that publication here!
Overall, another successful Resilient Cities Congress under ICLEI's belt! See you next year at Resilient Cities 2015!