Journey of Kadıköy’s Social Resilience in the Climate Change Adaptation
How did the InCRECA Project arise?
Kadıköy, like many cities around the world, faces the risk of several disasters such as earthquakes, floods and heat waves due to its geographical location, natural assets and intense urbanization. Therefore, citizens who are aware of these risks want to take part in the all stages of Disaster Management Cycle and Adaptation of Climate Change.
A movement could sometimes start from a connection with local governments, departments or authorization bodies. Citizens who aim to find solutions to environmental and climate change raise their voices collectively within a naturally occurring organization or network. Social demand usually comes from citizens and these networks or initiatives. People who live in Kadıköy are mostly aware of the destructive effects of climate change and disasters and communicate with the municipality about urban problems by using different channels.
Consequently, “InCRECA: Increasing Social Resilience in the Climate Adaptation Process” project proposed a resilient structure guided and supported by the local government. The structure — developed with the support of experts and local science— aims to ensure participation of volunteers sensitive to the subject at the local level, increasing citizen awareness.
At the beginning, InCRECA was planned to be carried out in a small pilot area; but, because of the obligatory conditions of the pandemic in the following time, the project was spread to whole Kadıköy. Thereby, the impact area of the project has expanded, not to mention the number of participants.
What was the project aim?
InCRECA established interaction between citizens, citizen-municipality and citizen-scientists through warning and feedback mechanisms. Moreover, it gave an opportunity to stakeholders to work in collaboration with different actors of the community. InCRECA has aimed to reach the following goals:
- To create a resilient, voluntary, flexible structure directed and supported by the local government and to ensure participation at the local level.
- To reduce the negative effects of climate change on public health and to increase social resilience.
- To establish the Kadıköy Municipality Environmental Monitoring System (KEMS) and to activate it with the participation of citizens.
- To raise awareness about the adaptation of citizens to climate change with the support of experts.
- To bring volunteers together with science and technology through the support of experts and academics.
- To establish a system to alert disadvantaged populations in emergency situations such as air pollution and heat waves.
How did it progress?
InCRECA was carried out in four phases: (1) pilot area project and focus group selection, (2) selection of ICT tools and determination of the location of measurement devices, (3) establishment of measurement devices and Kadıköy Environmental Monitoring System (KEMS), (4) dissemination activities.
The project brought the participants together under the roof of the project through the following initiatives:
Announcements for stakeholders
Kadıköy Municipality took the first step by sending a clarification letter to Mukhtar (head of neighborhood), universities and also apartment managers. Thus, the first phases of the project started.
Call for citizens to engage
Secondly, an invitation announcement was made from the Municipality web site to citizens who were willing to take a part actively in this project. 40 people answered the open call positively and 15 volunteers were selected according to the location of their houses. The addresses were chosen from different environmental conditions. Some of them are close to coast or green areas with big trees, some of them are inside high rise buildings, others are low level flats. The reason was to analyze the affection of different urban structures from the heat island effect and air pollution. Besides, it was also important to get accurate measurements from the balconies of those selected volunteers.
Five briefings, a consultant meeting and a webinar were held. In total, 50 people (including the volunteers of the project and scientist) attended these events.
Establishing mini air quality and temperature/ humidity devices at citizen’s balconies and locating stable devices at selected points
Firstly, five mini air quality and temperature/ humidity devices were installed in our Municipal services (Kadıköy Alzheimer Centre, Design Atelier Kadıköy, Göztepe Volunteer Centre, Khalkedon Fenerbahce and Kadıköy Interactive Children’s Library). Moreover, two stable station measurement devices were located in Göztepe Mukhtars Unit and Acıbadem Swimming Pool before the pandemic. Devices are still continuing the measurements. Secondly, 15 household measurement devices were installed in volunteers’ balconies by themselves.
A Dashboard: Kadıköy Municipality Environmental Monitoring System (KEMS)
The KEMS dashboard was developed so that participants and volunteers could easily access the panel from (https://see.airqoon.com). A volunteer can easily follow the measurement devices at his/her home and the measurements (air quality and temperature/humidity) of other volunteers.
While the collected data is followed by the Municipality on the established KEMS website, it can also be followed by the citizens. Distribution maps created by analyzing data such as air quality and temperature on the KEMS website can be easily accessed from a mobile phone or computer. It is expected to add a module to the KEMS website where citizens would report the air quality and temperature they see or feel.
KEMS aims to raise awareness on climate change by creating a resilient structure supported by the local government through participation at the neighborhood level. InCRECA has also been developed in the same direction.
Multidirectional Evaluation Process and Feedback Mechanism (InSPIRES OP)
Twenty-one (21) participants (15 representing civil society; 3, scientists and 3, project managers) registered at the InSPIRES Open Platform to follow and to evaluate the project through online surveys at the four project’s phases, according to the platform.
Developing sub-reports collaboration with scientists and researchers
As an output of the project, the sub-report “Inspires a Glance of Measurement Data” was composed by scientists. Besides, document “The Air Quality Analysis of Kadıköy” has also been composed. All outputs were published on the website (iklim.kadikoy.bel.tr) and the dashboard.