Taking Action

City Twinning

Mayors Adapt is offering cities across Europe the opportunity to take part in peer-to-peer exchanges that aim to increase municipalities’ capacity and knowledge to adapt to climate change. The twinning visits connect cities that are starting their adaptation work to mentor municipalities that have already developed successful strategies to make their territories more resilient. The learning municipality travels to the mentor to understand how the latter tackled the climate hazards.
The first online call for participants in the Mayors Adapt city twinning programme was launched in June 2015. We received 45 applications from cities from 12 EU countries.
The Mayors Adapt Team and the European Commission have made a careful evaluation of all the information provided by the applicants on the basis of the selection criteria.

The 22 selected cities from 11 EU countries have been matched according to their climate and geographic characteristics, socio-economic and institutional specificities, and adaptation knowledge. The twinned cities include (the mentor city is indicated in bold):

• Barcelona (Spain) and Chania (Greece) – Twinning focus: Governance of the adaptation process and water management;
Copenhagen (Denmark) and Antwerp (Belgium) – Twinning focus: General Adaptation planning, and stakeholder engagement;
Lisbon (Portugal) and Florence (Italy) – Twinning focus: Water Management and how to build a comprehensive adaptation strategy;
• Valencia (Spain) and Cesena (Italy) – Twinning focus: Stakeholder engagement and flood prevention;
Edinburgh (United Kingdom), Glasgow (United Kingdom) and Stockholm (Sweden) – Twinning focus: Stakeholder engagement and governance of the adaptation process;
• Newcastle upon Tyne (United Kingdom) and Belfast (United Kingdom) – Twinning focus: Emergency planning, adaptation strategies involving economic actors;
Bologna (Italy), Lleida (Spain) and the Union of Municipalities of Terra di Leuca (Italy) – Twinning focus: Water scarcity and urban agriculture;
Cascais (Portugal) and Ilion (Greece) – Twinning focus: Strategic planning and risk and climate monitoring;
Munich (Germany) and Prague (Czech Republic) – Twinning focus:  risk mapping, green spaces and flood prevention;
• Rouen (France) and Stirling (United Kingdom) – Twinning focus: Green urbanism and water management.
The twinning visits are to take place over the course of the year 2016.

The goal of these exchanges is to allow local authorities to learn from their peers and foster the creation of long-term connections between European cities facing comparable climate risks or implementing similar approaches.

Why are cities joining the twinning programme?

For the learning city: Knowledge transfer and support in adaptation work. This happens through purposeful discussions with the mentor municipality and its adaptation experts, visits of key sites where the adaptation work has been implemented, and insight on how to transfer replicable solutions to the learning city’s local conditions.
For the mentor city: Visibility and exchange of good practices. The mentor city hosts the twinning visit and is publicly acknowledged as an adaptation frontrunner and a major player in Mayors Adapt through the website, promotional materials and events. Given that adaptation is an iterative process and exchanging helps both sides, the mentor city often also learns from the learning city.

If you are a mentor, you…
• host the learning city visit and get a chance to showcase your achievements.
• are included in our Best Practice publication, distributed across Europe.
• are highlighted on Mayors Adapt website through a dedicated article/interview.
• are included in the EU’s Climate-ADAPT portal.
• can be offered speaker slots at high-level European events.

If you are a learning city, you…
• travel to your mentor city.
• get support from our helpdesk on transferring the practices learnt from the mentor to your own adaptation plan.
• are promoted on Mayors Adapt website as a city committed to climate change adaptation.
• are included in the EU’s Climate-ADAPT portal.
• can be offered speaker slots at Mayors Adapt related European events.

What happens after the twinning visits?

Once back in their own city, the visitors draft a brief report on how their mentor’s good practices and lessons learnt could be adapted to their local context and reflected in their adaptation strategy. Mentor cities provide feedback on the visit and recommendations to the visitors for communication and learning purposes. Mentor and learning municipalities are encouraged to investigate ways to ensure durability of the twinning – be it through joint event or training, mutual follow-up or peer-reviewing of respective adaptation plans, or other activities.

What does Mayors Adapt provide in terms of funding and support?

For mentor cities:
• Support from Mayors Adapt to the organisation of the visit (facilitating contacts with learning city, elaborating the agenda of the twinning visit).
• A cover for visits costs (up to €180 per visit).
• Presence of a Mayors Adapt representative during the visits.

For learning cities:
• A cover for travel (up to €350) and accommodation (up to €480) costs at your mentor city.
• Support related to the organisation of the visit.
• Presence of a Mayors Adapt representative during the visit.
• Support during follow-up work after the visit (transferability assessment).

More information

Contact person regarding the twinnings: Claire Baffert, claire.baffert@eurocities.eu, Tel: +32 2 552-0851
For general information regarding Mayors Adapt, contact our Helpdesk helpdesk@mayors-adapt.eu

Related documents

Selection and matchmaking criteria
Presentation of the twinning programme
Twinning visit guidebook
Twinning visit report template