A policy content analysis for evaluating urban adaptation justice in İstanbul

David Samuel Williams*, Osman Balaban, Akgün İlhan, Hande Paker, Ümit Şahin, Beyza Sarıkoç Yıldırım, Ethemcan Turhan, Baran Alp Uncu, Marta Olazabal

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    Climate change is disproportionately affecting vulnerable communities, increasing existing risks and leading to further global inequalities. Drawing on the concept of urban adaptation justice, we evaluated the inclusion of vulnerable communities in the climate change adaptation planning process of İstanbul, a European coastal megacity with considerable vulnerability to climate change. For this, a policy content analysis structured around four criteria: (i) participation, (ii) capacity enhancement, (iii) governance, and (iv) justice integration into spatial planning, was carried out and supplemented by local expert consultations. Our findings indicate that while the objective of incorporating some aspects of justice in adaptation planning was recognized, there was a distinct lack of specific actions or evaluation tools. The expert consultations largely confirmed these findings, which were then connected to the socio-historical and political context of İstanbul and the wider Turkish region. Key conclusions include the failure of current adaptation policies to adequately consider vulnerabilities arising from a combination of urban marginalization interacting with neoliberal authoritarianism. We identify the need for understanding and integrating equitable climate change adaptation as a key dimension of urban decision-making for future policy-relevant research and practice
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)476-485
    Number of pages10
    JournalEnvironmental Science & Policy
    Early online date16-Jul-2022
    Publication statusPublished - Oct-2022


    • Policy content analysis
    • Vulnerability
    • Urban climate justice
    • Adaptation
    • Urban inequality
    • İstanbul

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