Cancun Adaptation Framework and the Adaptive City Copenhagen - a Critical Urban Theory Perspective

Gökhan Kutlu

Studenteropgave: Speciale


Cancun Adaptation Framework (CAF) was adopted in Mexico in 2010. It was the first time at the global level that the issue of climate change adaptation is tackled broadly, leading to a prioritization of adaptation measures to the same level as climate change mitigation. The CAF document came along with people-centered principles making adaptation a human rights issue. It necessitated that the local knowledge is to be utilized; the state capacities in the least developed countries should be enhanced; and the vulnerable people should be taken into account while making of adaptation. Approximately a year after this global framework, Copenhagen Municipality adopted its climate change adaptation strategy. Interestingly, this local plan not only addressed the protection of the city from the climate change, it also strategically integrated the issue of adaptation to the larger aims of Copenhagen-centric development. The adaptation therefore found a new expression under the neoliberal condition at the local level; and it is a wonder whether these neoliberalized adaptation practices and their possible outcomes contradict with the major principles found in the CAF. In sum, this thesis argues that the re-scaled and neoliberalized adaptive urbanization limits the climatisation of urban policy resulting in the withering away of the global principles.

UddannelserGlobal Studies, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato29 mar. 2015
VejledereBjørn Thomassen


  • Copenhagen
  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • neoliberalisation
  • Critical Urban Theory
  • Re-scaling
  • urbanization