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Climatic Change 104, 1 (2011) 169-197
Multilevel risk governance and urban adaptation policy
Jan Corfee-Morlot 1, Ian Cochran 2, 3, Stéphane Hallegatte 4, 5, Pierre-Jonathan Teasdale 1

Despite a flurry of activity in cities on climate change and growing interest in the research community, climate policy at city-scale remains fragmented and basic tools to facilitate good decision-making are lacking. This paper draws on an interdisciplinary literature review to establish a multilevel risk governance conceptual framework. It situates the local adaptation policy challenge and action within this to explore a range of institutional questions associated with strengthening local adaptation and related functions of local government. It highlights the value of institutional design to include analytic-deliberative practice, focusing on one possible key tool to support local decision-making-that of boundary organizations to facilitate local science-policy assessment. After exploring a number of examples of boundary organisations in place today, the authors conclude that a number of institutional models are valid. A common feature across the different approaches is the establishment of a science-policy competence through active deliberation and shared analysis engaging experts and decision-makers in an iterative exchange of information. Important features that vary include the geographic scope of operation and the origin of funding, the level and form of engagement of different actors, and the relationship with "producers" of scientific information. National and sub-national (regional) governments may play a key role to provide financial and technical assistance to support the creation of such boundary organizations with an explicit mandate to operate at local levels; in turn, in a number of instances boundary organizations have been shown to be able to facilitate local partnerships, engagement and decision-making on adaptation. While the agenda for multi-level governance of climate change is inevitably much broader than this, first steps by national governments to work with sub-national governments, urban authorities and other stakeholders to advance capacity in this area could be an important step for local adaptation policy agenda.
1 :  Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
2 :  Centre d'économie industrielle (CERNA)
MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris
3 :  CDC Climat Recherche
CDC Climat Recherche
4 :  Groupe d'étude de l'atmosphère météorologique (CNRM-GAME)
CNRS : URA1357 – INSU – Météo France
5 :  Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement (CIRED)
Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement [CIRAD] : UMR56 – CNRS : UMR8568 – École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) – École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) – AgroParisTech
Sciences de l'Homme et Société/Economies et finances
Climate policy – Common features – Conceptual frameworks – Decision makers – Exchange of information – Institutional design – Literature reviews – Local adaptation – Local decision-making – Local government – Multi-level governance – National governments – Policy assessment – Related functions – Research communities – Risk governance – Scientific information – Technical assistance