Metropolitan governance and climate adaptation: The case of Curitiba, Brazil

Authors: Ashley G. Benitez*, University of Connecticut
Topics: Urban Geography, Latin America, Political Geography
Keywords: Climate governance, Climate adaptation, Regional planning, Metropolitan governance, Multi-level governance, Small cities
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


With almost 50 years of urban planning and a 2010 award for sustainability, the City of Curitiba has been long highlighted as a model city in sustainable planning. This article considers how the capital of Paraná has achieved this standing and expands the focus of analysis over policies across the local, regional, state and national levels of government to understand the spatial interactions of climate governance happening within the larger Metropolitan Region of Curitiba (RMC in Portuguese).

Government plans, policies, reports and GIS data from the entire RMC, which includes Curitiba and 28 other municipalities, are analyzed through a framework of comparative analysis. Five components of climate planning are evaluated: (i) mitigation objectives and results; (ii) adaptation plans and activities; (iii) stakeholders’ involvement; and (v) participation in climate change transnational networks of each municipality in the RMC and higher levels of government.

The evaluation is based on the assumption that in comparison to the state’s capital city, other municipalities within the RMC are much less prepared to address their current and future vulnerabilities. Small and medium-sized cities are growing fast. As they are becoming a focal point for climate action, it is imperative to continue understanding the sociopolitical dynamics supporting their adaptive capacities. This article draws the attention to the understanding of two important issues in current research urban climate governance: what strategies small and medium-sized cities are employing in developing policies in climate change adaptation and what are their roles within an integrated metropolitan region.

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