Updates from the Demonstrator Cities: Building a stakeholder mapping for climate success      

Impetus4Change uses Cities across Europe to investigate and evaluate mitigation strategies for climate change impacts. Each of these cities has recently gone through a mapping exercise to engage local stakeholders and ensure the success of the co-exploration process which is detailed in this article.

The four demonstrator cities (Barcelona, Bergen, Paris and Prague) represent urban areas with different sizes, geography, climate, socio-economic and cultural conditions. Each city faces and addresses various climate-related challenges. Impetu4Change’s goal is to investigate and evaluate the potential of the different mitigation strategies in these various contexts for future application in other urban areas. The work undertaken in all four demonstrator cities aims to combine historical city data with models and prediction systems to improve predictions of climate and extreme weather episodes and their impacts, using this newly created information to improve preparedness for future events.    

At the current stage of the project, each demonstrator has worked on advancing their stakeholder mapping, which is part of the co-exploration process. Certain factors for each demonstrator city determine how advanced each city is in its stakeholder mapping process. These include the availability of sufficient capacity, appropriate competencies, and existing networks. For example, the mapping in the Barcelona demonstrator is relatively advanced because:

 a) 300K is a project partner, key user, and catalytic interface to the wider Barcelona urban planning community and      

b) the social scientist team at BSC has direct experience in stakeholder and knowledge mapping and has been able to devote considerable time to this task.      

Some of these factors were less available in other demonstrators and some faced exogenous challenges (e.g., owing to challenges in hiring staff, or the uncertainty created by local and national elections). Thus, to ensure that the project moves forward, partners have instead focused on strengthening the relationships with stakeholders with whom the links had been built before or during the project preparation stage while expanding the stakeholder map has progressed more slowly. Despite this, all demonstrators were able to take advantage to some degree of existing relationships between project partners and the decision makers that are the likely end-users of the I4C services. There are also clear examples of allying the co-exploration of I4C themes with other ongoing projects (e.g., with Destination Earth in Prague and IDAlert in Barcelona), learning about emerging initiatives (e.g., a new proposed tram line in Bergen), and building on existing work (e.g., adapting a previous stakeholder mapping activity in Paris).

The next steps include developing stratified lists of key users, end users, key stakeholders, and interested stakeholders and then refining the high-level goals identified originally and grouping potential users together to reduce the burden of tailoring each service. Following this, I4C will develop services that are socially inclusive and which respond to genuine needs, we will evaluate each potential key actor against different dimensions: influence, power, urgency, multiplicity, legitimacy, and type of knowledge.

This aims to help ensure our working groups account for existing imbalances in institutional arrangements and work to overcome climate-aggravated injustices as we seek to empower and involve users and raise awareness among the wider stakeholder group. A key output of these efforts will be identifying the potential users to invite to the 1st Adaptalab in Paris in November 2023.