Building Resilience of Urban Ecosystems and Communities to Sea-Level Rise: Jamaica Bay, New York City

  • A. Saleem KhanEmail author
  • Kytt MacManus
  • Jane Mills
  • Malgosia Madajewicz
  • Laxmi Ramasubramanian
Reference work entry


Climate change-induced sea-level rise (SLR) and coastal flooding pose serious threats to low-lying urban coastal regions. Densely populated cities with fragile urban ecosystems face the brunt of rising sea levels and other coastal disasters. Building urban climate change resilience to SLR reduces vulnerability and enhances the urban ecosystem and the community’s potential to maintain both social and ecological functions to adapt to the rising sea levels. Jamaica Bay in New York City provides an example of social and ecological interactions in an urban area that address challenges of SLR. It offers an opportunity to study different approaches that communities adopt to build resilience, while placing ecosystems at the center of adaptation initiatives. COREDAR- (a capacity building tool) based SLR and flood risk information assortment and GIS-based SLR and flood risk assessments were carried out. The findings of the study in this chapter (1) describe the potential areas and population that are at risk to the predicted impacts of SLR in the Jamaica Bay region and (2) present empirical case studies on climate resilience efforts taken by a range of stakeholders from city governments, research and academic institutions, civil society, to others from the Jamaica Bay region. The chapter illustrates different approaches to integrate adaptation efforts in the social and ecological systems to improve adaptation to SLR in urban communities.


Urban climate change Sea-level rise Ecosystems Communities Resilience Adaptation Jamaica Bay New York City 



The authors are grateful to the Department of State, Government of the United States of America, and Government of India for funding this study (COREDAR) through Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Research Program (2015–2016).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Saleem Khan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kytt MacManus
    • 1
  • Jane Mills
    • 1
  • Malgosia Madajewicz
    • 2
  • Laxmi Ramasubramanian
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), The Earth InstituteColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Center for Climate Systems Research, The Earth InstituteColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Urban Policy and Planning and The Institute for Sustainable CitiesHunter College, CUNYNew YorkUSA

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