The threat of climate change has been dealt with as a “global” issue on the international political agenda since the late 1980s. The conventional assumption was that global environmental problems such as climate change could only be handled through national governments and international cooperation. However, local governments have been also central actors in climate change governance over the past decade. At the same time, the role of metropolitan city governments is becoming more important to tackle the problem of climate change.
This PhD dissertation aims at examining the evolution of local climate policies toward sustainable communities in a multilevel governance framework. It will show what specific cities are doing to become more sustainable communities so as to better tackle global climate change at the local level (e.g., transportation planning and green building programs) and why. With comparative case studies of Berlin, Oslo and Seoul, it will also prove why multilevel governance has played a key role in evolving local climate policies toward sustainable communities.