Adapting or maladapting: Building resilience to climate-related disasters in coastal cities
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Despite the increasing risks associated with climate-related hazards, urban development in many coastal cities continues to take place on low-lying, high-risk land. Resilience is a key concept in adaptation, however, in the context of cities it is a complex phenomenon influenced by a diverse range of factors. This paper explores how the key elements of urban resilience (agents, institutions, and systems) interact to determine the types of approaches cities take to build resilience in two Australian cities. It uses case study data including semi-structured interviews with a diverse group of stakeholders ranging from local and state government authorities, non-government organisations, consulting firms, and researchers to the insurance industry. Findings indicate that the attitude of agents shapes the institutions and systems thus determining types of adaptation strategies in response to climate change. When the community's desire to live close to water couples with a lack of understanding or underestimation of the impacts, adaptation efforts are undermined. These findings call for a focus on the key role of agents for a transformational approach to building resilience that is based on shared learning.
This publication has been entered into Griffith Research Online as an Advanced Online Version.
Urban and Regional Planning not elsewhere classified