Building a climate-resilient Zagreb

After being hit by a series of earthquakes in 2020, the Croatian capital began a holistic reconstruction effort that also integrates climate adaptation measures, designed to ensure the city’s long-term resilience. REGEA is delivering on this mandate through several EU projects.

Building a climate-resilient Zagreb

With an ever-increasing realisation across the EU that not just mitigation, but also climate change adaptation and resilience is needed, the North-West Croatia Regional Energy Agency (REGEA) has been supporting its local and regional governments in this field evermore. Besides the traditional work that energy agencies have been implementing for a while (such as the development of SECAPs), REGEA has been supporting the development of dedicated regional climate change adaptation plans and strategies for the integration of adaptation measures and green infrastructure.

In the case of the adaptation plan for the Krapina-Zagorje County just north of Zagreb, REGEA has developed a detailed climate risk assessment and identified key measures and approaches to ensure systemic adaptation in the most vulnerable areas ensuring the region has the tools needed to ensure its resilience to the negative impacts of climate change we are witnessing. This plan also presents a basis for the future development of infrastructure projects which will need to account for climate change adaptation and resilience.

As an initial response to the damage done by a series of two earthquakes that hit the City of Zagreb and the surrounding area in 2020, causing devastation in the city’s historic centre, a dedicated and meticulous plan was developed, targeting an integrated and holistic approach to the refurbishment and reconstruction effort. This plan included over a dozen of dedicated assessments and studies covering everything from the construction work, architecture, cultural protection, mobility, and energy as well as the legal and financial aspects. REGEA has been tasked with the integration of green infrastructure and climate change adaptation, an especially challenging task considering the density of urbanisation and the cultural heritage status of the city’s old historic core. The developed guidelines on a pilot block will be used as a basis both for a wider application of the identified measures as well as for their integration within the city’s various spatial plans.

Photo by Anthony Rosset via Unsplash

Besides local and regional support, REGEA is also active in the field of EU projects. As part of its climate adaptation mandate, REGEA is an active partner in:

  • REGILIENCE: supporting regions and communities in their efforts toward climate-resilience pathways. It will facilitate the identification and upscaling of the most promising resilience solutions: supporting their replication in 10 vulnerable and low-capacity regions in Europe; communicating them through various channels and actions; and inspiring policymakers, organisations, and individuals to become part of the change.

    To make this support effective, REGILIENCE will implement almost 700 activities including events, training, peer-to-peer mentorship, helpdesk, informational and communication material, etc. to share experiences, learn from failure, provide guidance, and disseminate knowledge and tools. REGILIENCE will produce a Resilience Fundamentals Course, a citizen Resilience Scan Tool, and will test 10 innovative public-private partnership approaches, among other activities.

    REGEA is leading the activities focused on the development of Climate resilience pathways and strategies.
  • REMARKABLE Climate Leaders: building new leadership capacity in Europe through a Climate Leadership Programme inspired by ethnographic research and designed with and for leaders across public authorities. The Climate Leadership Programme will facilitate the creation of Roadmaps for public authorities aiming at Climate Neutrality by 2050. These Roadmaps will allow Climate Leaders to translate strategic aspirations and policy ambitions into concrete and disruptive far-reaching measures. REGEA is supporting the local Climate Leaders in the development of their Climate Neutrality Roadmaps and developing a guidance document for designing and implementing these roadmaps.
  • IN-PLAN: developing, testing, and rolling out the IN-PLAN practice: a long-lasting support structure enabling local and regional authorities to effectively implement their sustainable energy and climate plans by:
    • Integrating energy, climate, and spatial planning (as well as other types of planning tools, such as mobility, infrastructure, etc.);
    • Ensuring commitment at all political levels (through vertical integration);
    • Matching the included measures with specific dedicated local and regional budget lines.

REGEA is participating in many more activities and projects focusing on climate adaptation. Details can be found on the website of REGEA. If you are interested in the process of integrated energy and climate planning or the IN-PLAN project, please feel free to contact Tomislav Novosel from REGEA at

Take a look at Zagreb’s new article on EU Mission Stories for more information on their adaptation solutions.