Perceptions of urban climate hazards and their effects on adaptation agendas

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11027-015-9697-1

Cite this article as:
Lee, T. & Hughes, S. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Change (2017) 22: 761. doi:10.1007/s11027-015-9697-1


Decision-makers in cities around the world are beginning to take steps to adapt to the current and future risks presented by climate change, the sum of which we refer to as a city’s adaptation agenda. However, there is significant variation in such agendas: some may focus on responding to one or two climate hazards, while others develop agendas to respond to a wide range of hazards. What causes this varying range of urban adaptation agendas? The purpose of this study is to assess how geographic, socioeconomic, and institutional features of cities as well as the perception of climate change hazards affect the scope of adaptation agendas. Utilizing regression analyses of a newly constructed database for 58 cities around the world, our findings suggest that the perception of climate change hazards held by decision-makers is a primary determinant of the scope of urban adaptation agendas. Given that each global city faces place-specific hazards from varying extreme climate events, this research provides global-scale adaptation strategies for local, national, and international institutions, suggesting that enhancing awareness as well as mapping urban climate hazards is an initial step for broadening and mainstreaming adaptation agendas.


Climate adaptation Risk perception Adaptation agenda Urban environment 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceYonsei UniversitySeodaemun GuSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of Toronto MississaugaMississaugaCanada

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