Climate change response at the local level in Istanbul (CLIST)

Mutual learning among cities and actors

This German-Turkish collaboration project is one of the first activities supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the German-Turkish Year of Research, Education and Innovation 2014. It follows the motto “Science bridging nations” and addresses with the topic of climate change one of the key goals of the joint Year of science: Global Change.

Project Duration:   01.06.2014 – 31.12.2016


Project motivation

What motivates this project is that cities, and especially megacities, are key sources of greenhouse gas emissions and at the same time highly affected by the consequences of climate change. This calls for integrative local answers, including comprehensive climate change strategies with mitigation and adaptation activities.

Given the wide range of activities undertaken in Turkey in order to frame climate change response at national level, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality is now in the fortunate position of not only using synergies by learning from and exchanging with other cities around the world but to use its own power in order to play an active role in combatting climate change, to compete with other megacities around the world as well as to set a good example for other Turkish cities.

Research objectives

Different Workshops are organised in the megacity of Istanbul with the aim of working in a participatory manner on climate change response at local level. Thereby, the project acts at the interface between science, policy and society and brings together political decision-makers, scientists and NGO representatives. The main objectives of the workshops are,

  1. to promote the awareness for climate change impacts and the necessary action need at local level,
  2. to strengthen mutual learning between actors and cities in the context of climate change response, and
  3. to further develop transferable climate change response strategies.


The 1st workshop on “Climate change response at the local level in Istanbul” took place on October 30 and 31, 2014 in Istanbul. The event was organized with the aim of discussing different climate change governance approaches as well as best practices with regards to climate change response.

On the first day, learning from and exchange with international and national representatives from decision-makers and scientists was in the focus. The second workshop day was dedicated to the identification of specific needs and challenges for integrated response to climate change in Istanbul. Intensive discussion took place with representatives from the Metropolitan Municipality of Istanbul.

For further information, please download the final programme and the summary of the workshop.


The second workshop took place on May 28 and 29, 2015 in Istanbul. Following the findings of the first workshop up, the overall aim of this workshop was

  • to work on the interlinkages between climate change, urbanization processes and other related pressures as well as on the socio-economic impacts associated with issues such as water or energy supply and extreme events, and
  • to continue the discussion around climate change response in Istanbul with different actors.

The workshop brought together national and international academics experts as well as representatives from Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, district municipalities, NGOs, and the private sector.

The discussion addressed several core issues for Turkey such as the need for an overarching framework or concept in politics and science adapted to the Turkish culture in order to address local climate change response. Overall, it became clear that communication is key as a selling point, to include different actors, and to avoid misunderstandings.

Source: Krellenberg Source: Krellenberg

On November 07 and 08, 2016, the final activity of the CLIST project is to take place. Embedded in the third Smart Municipality Summit, organized by the Union of Marmara Municipalities, the second summit day will focus on climate change. The event brings together municipalities, from Turkey and Germany, as well as representatives of Turkish ministries, the private sector and academia to talk about technical but also social solutions to the big challenges, municipalities are facing today and are going to face in the future.

The project was also subject of the video, produced by the mmpro film- und medienproduktion GmbH for the closing event of the German-Turkish Year of Research, Education and Innovation 2014 by order of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).  

View the video in Turkish language.

View the video in German language.