Hard for small municipalities to adapt

It seems like the process adaptation to climate change is slower in Sweden, compared to Denmark. My experience is that Danish municipalities have worked more intensively with climate change adaptation during the last decade. There might be many reasons for this, but one cause that I have discussed with my engineering colleagues is that Swedish municipalities in general are much smaller than Danish municipalities.


Histogram of population is Swedish and Danish municipalities

To clarify the difference between the size of Danish and Swedish municipalities, I made a histogram that illustrates the size of population. While most Danish municipalities have a population of between 30.000 and 70.000, most Swedish municipalities are smaller than 20.000. These municipalities have a hard time to make sure that they have the right competence for such a difficult task as climate change adaptation. Expertise is needed that can include the perspective of far-distant, future development in master plans for urban areas. One possible solution for Sweden to ensure even stronger coordination between neighbouring municipalities. This is however a demanding task in the already overstretched organisations.

Danish data comes from Danmarks statistik and Swedish data comes from Statistiska centralbyrån, SCB. Data from end of 2014/beginning of 2015.