Portrait of a climate city: How climate change is emerging as a risk in Bergen, Norway

11 mai 2021 11:30 12:30 ENG

Scott Bremer (UiB)

Climate change is dramatically shifting the way cities interpret and live with their local climate. Historically, Bergen has a strong identity as Europe’s rainiest city, manifested in its cultural and social life. In the past 15 years, Bergen’s identity has been shifting from a ‘weather city’ to a ‘climate city’.

This paper presentation analyses how climate change is emerging as a manner of concern in the public spheres of Bergen, and interprets how this concern is affecting Bergen’s identity, with implications for the city’s climate risk governance. The paper draws on ethnographic research, interviews and document analysis to map this shift as co-produced by certain social and natural events and processes; told as narratives of change.
These representations influence Bergen’s attitudes towards climate risk governance, and may extend influence to global scales via climate city networks. This identity shift also moves the timeframe of risk governance. As a weather city, risks are predicted, to foresee and prevent impacts. Critically employing co-production as an analytical lens can help us understand the multiple facets to cities’ climate risk governance, including the role of culture and identity. 
Scott Bremer is a researcher at the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, UiB. His background is broadly in environmental governance, integrated coastal governance, and more recently, place-based climate adaptation. He is interested in how science and other knowledge systems are used to support decisions and action in institutions, including at the so-called 'science-policy interface'. A key question he is concerned with is how people come to understand climate variability and change, in order to live with it. Dr Bremer is project leader of the ERC Starting Grant CALENDARS project and co-leader of the Arqus Alliance Action Line Engaged European Citizenship.

Photo Credit: UiB on flickr