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Climate adaptation: The race to cool down Europe’s cities

Filipe Ataíde Lampe

Date: 13/03/2023
Europe’s cities are heating up at a record-breaking pace. Cooling them down will require further anchoring of nature-based solutions into urban development. The EU can help cities adapt to the effects of the climate crisis, but this will require ambitious and urgent actions.

As the number of heatwaves increases across Europe, urban citizens’ life and well-being are particularly at risk. The Union has promoted concrete measures to increase green spaces in cities, but there is more the EU can do, both as a facilitator and coordinator of urban adaptation, including:

  1. Mainstream green urban planning across the EU.
  2. Launch an EU-wide assessment of environmental equality in urban settings.
  3. Link EU funds to environmental equality.
  4. Make private adaptation financing transparent.
  5. Make urban climate adaptation a strategic foresight priority.
  6. Bring the green urban agenda forward on a global scale.

The record-breaking summers of tomorrow require more ambitious urban solutions. While Europe’s cities are still relatively cool today, a long adaptation path is necessary to make them liveable and resilient for the future.

Read the full paper here.
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