05 Dec 2023 - 30 Apr 2024
Europe, Infrastructure, energy and climate change

Natural disasters: anticipatory governance and disaster risk management from a local and regional perspective

The COVID-19 pandemic, the war right on our doorstep, the devastating floods in Slovenia, wildfires in Greece and Cyprus, relentless heatwaves in Italy and Spain, to name just a few: all of them highlight the need to better prepare for, cope with and recover from disasters and crises. It is one of the most important challenges for local and regional governments. 

The study will focus on how to develop and improve the anticipatory governance approach to disasters, disaster risk management and adaptation by local and regional authorities. The focus is mainly on extreme weather events and climate-related disasters, given their growing frequency, intensity and impact. It will provide a brief overview of regional vulnerabilities across Europe, summarise the state of play, and analyse the benefits of an anticipatory approach, i.e. preparedness for disasters in risk and crisis management (shifting from a reactive approach to a proactive mindset and action) and climate adaptation, as well as the challenges involved in adopting and implementing such an approach, including examples of best practices by cities and local and regional governments that have developed tools and initiatives to address climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and management and to integrate them into local and regional planning, in order to strengthen local resilience. Lessons learnt and best practices will also be derived from those local governments that have recovered from past disasters and strengthened their resilience through the UNDRR principle of building back better. 

The outcomes of the study will be formulated as concrete future-oriented suggestions for improving the involvement of regions and cities in the implementation of the EU's disaster resilience goals and working towards a cross-cutting, "resilience-by-design" approach that will allow vulnerability criteria and resilience considerations to be integrated in public policies, regulations, action plans, investment programmes, etc., specifically at local and regional level. The study will include country-focused fiches (with specific attention paid to the regional and local level), including a simple overview of the legislative and financial framework in the field and an analysis of some relevant, and if possible local and regional, future-oriented best practices. 

Client: European Committee of the Regions 

Project leader:  CASE – Centre for Social and Economic Research 

Partner: Fraunhofer ISI