Institutional Capacity For Climate Policies In Cities


Scholars have focused on understanding the motivations behind urban authorities' efforts to respond climate change, yet the determinants of institutional response capacity are less well known, particularly in Latin America.

Together with colleagues from about eight countries we have developed a framework to understand the political-economic determinants of institutional response capacity through an examination of climate change governance in the cities of Buenos Aires and Rosario (Argentina), São Paulo and Río de Janeiro (Brazil), Manizales (Colombia), Santiago (Chile) and Chetumal and México City (México).

Although these cities share similar urbanization dynamics as well as urban and environmental policy and disaster management policies, there are differences between them. For instance, São Paulo and Mexico City have slightly higher levels of institutional capacity than Santiago and Buenos Aires. However these cities are faced with similar challenges, such as fragmented governance arrangements, and asymmetries in access to scientific information.  The study cities also have similar opportunities, such as leadership, participation in transnational networks and potentials to integrate climate change goals into existing policy agendas.  Examining urban climate change planning in isolation from other institutions might therefore likely to provide a false sense of a city's response capacity.



Romero-Lankao, P., S. Hughes, et al. (2013). "Institutional capacity for climate change responses: an examination of construction and pathways in Mexico City and Santiago." Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 31(5): 785-805

Romero-Lankao, P., Brutto, N., Chang, M., Hardoy, J., D'Almeida Martins, R., y Krellenberg, K., "Desarrollar capacidad de respuesta urbana a la variabilidad y el cambio climáticos" Respuestas Urbanas al Cambio Climatico en America Latina,  edited by Sanchez, R., IAI-CEPAL, Santiago de Chile, pp.


Please direct questions/comments about this page to:

Olga Wilhelmi

Head of GIS Program