Kadikoy Municipality Integrated and Participatory Climate Action
City/Region : City of Kadikoy/İstanbul/Kadikoy Municipality , Turkey

Being the first in Turkey, Kadıköy Municipality has been calculating annual institutional greenhouse gas emissions resulting from its buildings and services since 2010; it takes necessary measures for reducing the greenhouse gas emissions and monitors the amount of reduction on annual basis. Based on the accumulation of knowledge and experience as well as the need for the mitigation of the impacts of climate change, the Municipality has extended its efforts from institutional to city (district) level, and in September, 2017 it started the project of “Integrated and Participatory Climate Action for Kadıköy” which directly addresses transformation within the community.

Agendas addressed
Climate change
Pathways followed
  • Encourage local private and civic engagement

Due to global highlights related to resilience against the impacts of climate change in the recent decade; the need for a collective effort to struggle with those negative outcomes and to ensure adaptation has become crucial. Similarly, urban resilience is also important for Kadikoy which is a central district under the pressure of high urban density (above 19,000 person/km2 in 2019) and rapid urban transformation while it is one of the most visited destinations in the whole metropolitan system (Istanbul). Those burdens on the city, increasing exponentially by urban movements, have led to critical rise in the impacts of climate change; particularly extreme weather events such as extreme hot days, increase in the frequency and intensity of rain and hails, urban floods and heat waves. The fact that the negative impacts of climate change have been threatening public health and mostly vulnerable groups has encouraged Kadikoy Municipality to take action.

In Action

Being a signatory of Covenant of Mayors, Kadıköy Municipality has committed first 20% CO2 reduction by 2020, then 40% by 2030, which could be achieved first at individual level, then by the society as a whole. Hence, “Integrated and Participatory Climate Action for Kadıköy” project targets to calculate the amount of CO2 emissions of Kadıköy, to develop actions against negative impacts of and for adaptation to climate change and to make behavioral change within the society. 
Depending on the low levels of awareness on climate change at both individual and organizational levels; the project prioritizes participation of citizens in the struggle against climate change. Being aware that mitigation of climate change requires a societal transformation, Kadıköy Municipality aims to strengthen its efforts to mitigate climate change with (1) a participatory perspective that prioritizes active involvement of its staff and residents and (2) an integrated perspective concerning global and EU strategies. Specific objective of the project is to increase the capacity of Kadikoy Municipality in becoming resilient to the negative impacts of climate change and to create ownership (adoption)  among stakeholders for Municipality level actions targeting climate change, with a particular focus on young people and children through (a) developing needs-based sustainable plans, (b) creating a sustainable local ownership platform among the residents of Kadikoy, and (c) developing a sustainable training platform for children aged 3-6. 
Main activities of the Project are as follows: 
Activity 1: Updating the carbon emission targets and making the cost-benefit analysis with respect to newly set targets
Activity 2: Preparation of the draft Sustainable Energy Action Plan and Climate Change Adaptation Plan
Activity 3: Consultation meetings on the draft plan 
Activity 4: Engagement of mukhtars (head of local government at neighborhood scale)
Activity 5: Finalizing and disseminating Sustainable Energy Action Plan and Climate Adaptation Plan through key stakeholders 
Activity 6: Development of a special training programme and booklet for 3-6 age group 
The main stakeholders of the project include Municipality employees, Kadikoy City Council, non-governmental organizations, mukhtars, residents of Kadikoy especially young people and children; essentially it includes everyone living in Kadikoy and/or working for Kadikoy and affected by climate change.


The leading achievement is active engagement of citizens and all related stakeholders from different organizations in taking action to fight against climate change, which can hardly be achieved unless a determined local government pioneers and guides all the process.  
First output of the project is the acquisition of roadmaps which were developed by participatory processes. Draft Sustainable Energy Action Plan and Climate Change Adaptation Plan were prepared according to the guidelines discussed in 2 focus group and 2 expert meetings with total attendance of 161 persons including academic staff and main stakeholders.
To collect views of residents on Draft Plans, 2 rounds (150 people over the age of 30 and 150 people between the ages of 18-29) of “Consultation Meetings” were held, where participants were initially trained on climate change, informed about possible scenarios and necessary actions. Accordingly they were honored “Climate Ambassador Certificate” for their efforts. In June 2018, Kadikoy Climate Ambassadors established a working group under Kadikoy City Council. They voluntarily participate in publicizing and disseminating Sustainable Energy Action Plan and Climate Adaptation Plan. To penetrate climate efforts to neighborhood scale, 21 mukhtars of Kadikoy were engaged by 2 meetings where their views were asked, and they were become Climate Ambassadors contributing to enlargement of the Climate Ambassadors Network. Besides, strong political commitment resulted in the adoption of Sustainable Energy Action Plan and Climate Adaptation Plan by Municipal Council Decision.
One of the striking achievements is the development of a sustainable training entitled “Earth in my School Garden”. Training addresses climate change awareness among children aged 3-6. Totally 4,609 children were benefited and a pool of 132 trainers were reached.
In Municipality Governance Scorecard study of Arguden Governance Academy, all climate efforts of Kadikoy Municipality were declared as “best practice” which combines urban sustainability and good governance.   


One of the critical objectives of Integrated and Participatory Climate Action Project, which has supported efforts of Kadikoy Municipality to reduce negative impacts of climate change since 2009, was to create a local adoption platform based on active participation of citizens. Primarily 2 major local impacts have been achieved: (1) the community was introduced the concept of climate change, (2) “Kadikoy Climate Ambassadors” was established, a network of citizens gathering for taking action for the sake of the planet. Kadikoy Climate Ambassadors have been putting their effort and organizing many seminars, events and activities to ensure that Sustainable Energy Action Plan and Climate Adaptation Plan are well understood, disseminated and implemented. They organized an event on 8 September 2018 prior to the “Global Climate Action Summit” in order to draw attention of local governments for taking action. Furthermore, between October 2019 and February 2020, they organized monthly “Climate Footprints Seminars” where academicians specialized in the fields of climate change, energy efficiency, resilience against disasters, biodiversity, etc make presentations for raising awareness of the citizens.
Some targets of the Sustainable Energy Action Plan and Climate Adaptation Plan were engaged in (2020-2024) Strategic Plan of the Municipality. Objectives and actions set through active participation of stakeholders in the fields of sustainable urban planning, energy and water efficiency and social awareness have all been good practices for other local governments, which make local climate efforts to go beyond the boundaries of the city. Besides, a new project granted by InSPIRES call within EU Horizon 2020 was started in December 2019, which serves the implementation of the actions of Sustainable Energy Action Plan and Climate Adaptation Plan and it is aimed to improve/update action and communication tools via participatory methods so as to increase resilience of Kadikoy against air pollution and heat island effect.

Challenges and lessons learned

The major lesson learned from the transformative touch to the community and its successive effects within our entire local climate efforts is the necessity and importance of the availability of adequate institutional capacity for fighting against climate change. Moreover, it is essential to take small steps in the beginning and to enlarge the scale gradually, instead of diving headfirst directly into the ocean. Last but not the least challenge is the sustainability of the citizen engagement for which the local government must put its effort to mobilize individuals and has to function as the leader.

Kadikoy Municipality


ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
European Secretariat

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