Brainstorming challenges and opportunities towards mitigation and adaptation

If participants know their city already well, try this method and brainstorm challenges and opportunities for development in your city. Through their knowledge, you can quickly detect which issues are the most pressing in your community. This analysis helps to find out in which areas future projects can be located. 


Identify challenges and opportunities for urban action in your city and connect them to mitigation and adaptation.


  1. Invite all participants from your workshop to think about the following questions and to write their answers on cards of different colours (up to 5 challenges/barriers and up to 5 opportunities, with only one issue per card):

    • What are the most pressing issues that need to be solved in your city? 
    • What are existing opportunities that could to be explored?
  2. Each participant briefly lists his/her issues, and one facilitator in the group clusters the issues along similar/common categories.
  3. Now, participants can prioritise issues by using dots (e.g. each participant gets two dots and chooses along the cluster issues).

  4. From the list of prioritised challenges and opportunities, participants are now asked to relate the measures to mitigation of greenhouse gases, adaptation to climate change or disaster risk reduction. If relevant, ask to define the SDGs that relate to the issues at hand (it can be more than one).
    Feel free to use the existing template for this step. 
    ocus of the analysis here is related to mitigation and adaptation, you could still add other agendas.
  5. In a further step, you can also perform a detailed analysis of specific challenges and opportunities by answering the questions listed in template 2.  



This exercise is ideal when different cities are participating. However, it is also possible to apply it for only one city. In this case try to create 2 to 4 groups of participants to allow for some discussion. 

Ideally the group should be composed of experts from different city departments (planning, finance, mobility, education, health, public works, etc.) as well as different stakeholders (civil society, academia, NGOs etc.). 



1 to 2 hours


Visualisation and prioritisation of challenges and opportunities for action


ICA – Integrated Climate Action – PAKLIM / ICLEI, 2010