The role of scale in integrating climate change adaptation and mitigation in cities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Mia Landauer
  • Sirkku Juhola
  • Johannes Klein

Research units

  • University of Helsinki
  • Geological Survey of Finland
  • International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis


By using a scale framework, we examine how cross-scale interactions influence the implementation of climate adaptation and mitigation actions in different urban sectors. Based on stakeholder interviews and content analysis of strategies and projects relevant to climate adaptation and mitigation in the cities of Copenhagen and Helsinki, we present empirical examples of synergies, conflicts and trade-offs between adaptation and mitigation that are driven by the cross-scale interactions. These examples show that jurisdictional and institutional scales shape the implementation of adaptation and mitigation strategies, projects and tasks at the management scale, creating benefits of integrated solutions, but also challenges. Investigating the linkages between adaptation and mitigation through a scale framework provides new knowledge for urban climate change planning and decision-making. The results increase the understanding of why adaptation and mitigation are sometimes handled as two separate policy areas and also why attempts to integrate the two policies may fail.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-765
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Issue number5
Early online date1 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • climate change, Nordic countries, policy, trade-offs, urban planning

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