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The overarching process of Activating an inclusive ecosystem for change is at the heart of the Climate Transition Map approach, and is intended to expand and gain more momentum during each iteration (or turn through the Map). Understand the System process with an inclusive activation of your local ecosystems is key to support and enable a strong Climate City Contract.

To understand and make sense of the system in which a city operates, it requires a deep, holistic understanding of its context and social landscape. A city is a complex system made up of an entangled web of institutions, businesses, interest groups, citizens and communities that are connected in numerous ways. To grasp and better “understand the system” and to co-create the future scenarios of the city, it is important to gain a more comprehensive and deeper appreciation of the different, differing and diverse context in which the city operates, but most importantly, to include the voices and insights of a plurality of actors to reimagine it, even if it is not feasible to understand all the dynamic relationships operating in the city.


Find relevant Citizens and Urban Stakeholder Engagement and Participation Case Studies and Methods to support the “Understand the system” process of the Climate Transition Map. 


Case Studies: 

  1. Unified Citizen Engagement Approach The UCEA combines the perspectives of the three most prominent actors in the energy transition process: individual citizens, local initiatives/cooperatives and the municipality. The approach consists of five phases, on which tools and methods are mapped, that can facilitate the process and collaboration between the different actors. 



  1. Ecosystem Map The system map is a visual representation of the system of elements, actors and connections. It allows to take on a systemic view on an environment or a specific solution and see connections between the different actors that might otherwise not have been perceived. It also maps out the flow of materials, energy, information and money throughout the system. This allows the understanding where possible opportunities might lie to increase value, efficiency and/or efficacy. 

  1. Asset-based Community Development ABCD is a method which puts at the forefront, the development of a community’s assets and potentials in a sustainable manner. It involves building capacity and empowering individuals, associations and informal networks to come together and leverage their strengths to mobilise action in their communities. 

  1. Vision Workshop Toolbox The idea behind Vision Workshops is to bring together representatives of different groups (the general public, city administration, and/or schools) in their local context to make the concept of climate neutrality accessible to the population and to develop a shared vision for a future that is climate neutral.

  1. Challenge-based Systems Mapping Systems Practice helps make sense and bring about clarity of complex environments to make substantial social impact on a community or global scale. A method to push beyond the immediate problems to see the underlying patterns and how to learn and adapt the system to change. 

  1. Climate Fresk Online/face to face collaborative workshops to understand the implications of climate change and make action.   

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Stakeholder engagementClimate resilience

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