Evolving local climate adaptation strategies: incorporating influences of socio–economic stress
2012 (English)In: Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, ISSN 1381-2386, E-ISSN 1573-1596, Vol. 17, no 5, 471-486 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Socio-economic and climatic stresses affect local communities’ vulnerability toflooding. Better incorporation of socio-economic stress in local vulnerability assessments isimportant when planning for climate adaptation. This is rarely done due to insufficientunderstanding of their interaction, in both theory and practice. The omission leads to criticalweaknesses in local adaptation strategies. This study analyses how socio-economic stressinteract with climatic stress and shape local vulnerability to flooding, and how such stresscan be more efficiently managed within local government organisations. A frameworkcontaining potential stresses was developed and applied to investigate how socio-economicstress affected exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity in two case studies, usinginterview and group exercise transcripts. Cases consisted of major development projects intwo Swedish municipalities, Gothenburg and Lilla Edet. The cases were similarly exposedto climatic stress but differed in socio-economic context, and previous professional climatechange experience. Fierce foreign competition and market structure were seen as the twomost significant socio-economic stresses influencing local vulnerability to flooding throughshaping the ‘local’ worldview. In falling order sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacitywere seen to be influenced by the socio-economic stresses. Two approaches to efficientlyincorporate climatic and socio-economic stress in local management are proposed: shiftingthe focus of vulnerability assessments towards future sensitivity of people and settlements,rather than on the current infrastructure’s sensitivity, would facilitate their use in planningand by ‘mainstreaming’ adaptation into long-term strategic planning vulnerability would bemore dynamically addressed and periodically revised.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 17, no 5, 471-486 p.
Adaptation strategies, climate vulnerability, multiple stresses, socio-economic stress, flooding, local government
Social Sciences Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-77394DOI: 10.1007/s11027-011-9337-3ISI: 000303355800002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-77394DiVA: diva2:526673
funding agencies|Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (Formas)| 250-2006-2234 |European Regional Development Fund of the Baltic Sea Region Programme||2012-05-142012-05-142015-09-22