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Supporting urban adaptation to climate change: what role can resilience measurement tools play?

Mehryar, Sara ORCID: 0000-0002-5755-0869, Sasson, Idan and Surminski, Swenja (2021) Supporting urban adaptation to climate change: what role can resilience measurement tools play? Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Paper, 366. Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Cities are emerging as leading forces for climate change adaptation and resilience due to their financial, technological, and human capacities. Many approaches and tools have been developed and used over the last decades to measure climate resilience in cities and identify areas that need further intervention. In this study, we explore how and to what extent such tools can be or have been utilized by city-level actors to support their decision-making process for building climate resilience. To do this, we applied a document analysis of 27 tools developed for measuring urban climate resilience and supplemented it with 12 semi-structured interviews with local experts involved in implementation of these tools across the world. Our analysis shows that only 10 of these tools are designed to support implementing resilience actions while the rest mainly focus on sharing knowledge and raising awareness. We also observed a prevailing focus on evaluating coping capacities (as opposed to adaptive and transformative capacities) of cities against climate risks in such tools, which tends to trigger short-term solutions rather than long-term transformational adaptation strategies. Therefore, we argue that urban climate resilience measurement tools need to 1) support action implementation processes as much as assessing outcomes, and 2) consider the enabling environment for enhancing adaptive and transformative capacities as much as coping capacities of cities. Finally, we explore challenges and opportunities of resilience measurement practices for decision-making drawn from end-users’ insights.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2021 12:36
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 23:54

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