Unpacking the heterogeneity of climate city networks

Sayel Cortes*, Jeroen van der Heijden, Ingrid Boas, Simon Bush

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In recent decades, climate city networks, understood as formalized subnational governance networks that have climate change as their focus, have emerged, linking cities to the global climate governance regime and helping them to take climate action locally. Such city networks are considered an essential aspect of urban climate policy and governance. Scholarship on climate city networks has illustrated that such networks can no longer be understood as homogenous groups of organizations; rather, they show heterogeneity in how they seek to attract and engage with member cities. In this article, we unpack this heterogeneity and interrogate the various ways in which climate city networks attract and engage with their members. We are particularly interested in understanding what typifies climate city networks with an active member base. In studying 22 real-world climate city networks, we uncover five distinct types of networks with an active member base. The typology illustrates the rich, but bounded, variety of climate city networks, and helps to clarify how climate city networks can be effective in encouraging their member cities to take local climate action.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103512
Early online date22 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • City network
  • Climate action
  • Qualitative comparative analysis (QCA)
  • Urban climate governance


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