Progress and gaps in climate change adaptation in coastal cities across the globe

Matthias Garschagen, Mia Wannewitz, Idowu Ajibade, Katharine J. Mach, Alexandre Mangnan, Jan Petzold, Diana Reckien, Nicola Ulibarri, Armen Agopian, Vasiliki I. Chalastani, Tom Hawxwell, Lam T.M. Huynh, Christine J. Kirchhoff, Rebecca Miller, Justice Issah Musah-Surugu, Gabriela Nagle Alverio, Miriam Nielsen, Abraham Marshall Nunbogu, Brian Pentz, Andrea ReimuthGiulia Scarpa, Nadia Seeteram, Ivan Villaverde Canosa, Jingyao Zhou, GAMI The Global Adaptation Mapping Initiative Team

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Coastal cities are at the frontlines of climate change impacts, resulting in an urgent need for substantial adaptation. To understand whether and to what extent cities are on track to prepare for climate risks, this paper systematically assesses the academic literature to evaluate climate change adaptation in 199 coastal cities worldwide. We show that adaptation in coastal cities is rather slow, of narrow scope, and not transformative. Adaptation measures are predominantly designed based on past and current, rather than future, patterns in hazards, exposure, and vulnerability. City governments, particularly in high-income countries, are more likely to implement institutional and infrastructural responses, while coastal cities in lower-middle income countries often rely on households to implement behavioral adaptation. There is comparatively little published knowledge on coastal urban adaptation in low and middle income economies and regarding particular adaptation types such as ecosystem-based adaptation. These insights make an important contribution for tracking adaptation progress globally and help to identify entry points for improving adaption of coastal cities in the future.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherResearch Square Publications
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2024

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NameResearch Square


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