Climatic Change

, Volume 131, Issue 4, pp 505–517 | Cite as

Inter-relationships between adaptation and mitigation: a systematic literature review



Based on a systematic literature review method that consists of a bibliometric and a content analysis, we examine the current state of research on climate change adaptation and mitigation inter-relationships. Although systematic literature reviews have been applied in other research fields such as health sciences, there are only a few examples in social and environmental sciences. First, we investigate in which research fields the inter-relationships between adaptation and mitigation have been studied and how they have been conceptualised. Second, we analyse what kinds of synergies, trade-offs or conflicts between adaptation and mitigation policies and practices can be identified particularly in urban studies. Third, based on selected urban studies, we examine how inter-relationships between the two policy objectives or practical measures have been studied, in which context, and what is the main outcome of these studies. We also present what suggestions there are for solving conflicts, and how synergies can be enhanced in urban areas. The results indicate that there is value in examining the two together since urban areas are balancing between adaptation and mitigation and have to negotiate trade-offs at different scales.


Climate Policy Systematic Literature Review Disaster Risk Reduction Urban Study Mitigation Policy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This article is a deliverable of the Nordic Centre of Excellence for Strategic Adaptation Research (NORD-STAR), which is funded by the Norden Top-level Research Initiative sub-programme ‘Effect Studies and Adaptation to Climate Change.’

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mia Landauer
    • 1
    • 3
  • Sirkku Juhola
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maria Söderholm
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Real Estate, Planning and GeoinformaticsAalto UniversityAaltoFinland
  2. 2.Department of Environmental SciencesUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Risk, Policy and Vulnerability ProgramInternational Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)LaxenburgAustria

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