An Integrated Framework to Analyze Local Decision Making and Adaptation to Sea Level Rise in Coastal Regions in Selsey (UK), Broward County (USA), and Santos (Brazil) 2017

TitleAn Integrated Framework to Analyze Local Decision Making and Adaptation to Sea Level Rise in Coastal Regions in Selsey (UK), Broward County (USA), and Santos (Brazil) 2017
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsMarengo J, Muller-Karger F, Pelling M, Reynolds CJ, Merrill S.B., Nunes L.H., Paterson S., , Lockman J.T, Kartez J., Moreira F.A, Greco R, Harari J, Souza C.R.G, Alves L, Hosokawa E, Tabuchi E
JournalAmerican Journal of Climate Change
IssueNo.2, June
Date Published2017
KeywordsAdaptation, Climate Change, Impacts, Sea Level Rise, Vulnerability

One of the clear signals of the ongoing climate change is sea level rise (SLR). Normal oceanic tides superimposed on a rising sea level and coastal flooding will affect many coastal communities. An international collaboration among Brazil, the United Kingdom, and the United States was designed to evaluate local decision making processes and to open space for local urban managers to reflect on possible actions toward adaption to sea level rise given the historical constraints imposed by administrative and institutional structures. This project focused on the processes that shape adaptation of three coastal communities in three countries. It worked jointly with these communities in defining the problem, examining risks, and understanding the benefits and obstacles that may hinder implementation of adaptation options. The framework was co-designed by an interdisciplinary team that incorporated social and natural scientists from the three countries, including local government officials. The study addressed 1) evaluation of adaptive capacity through participant surveys and 2) physical and cost impact simulations using geospatial models of the built infrastructure and implementation of adaptation options under different hazard scenarios, including 50 and 100-year sea level rise projections and severe storms. Based on the surveys’ results, there is a clear sense of the awareness of each community of the risk of floods due to intense storms, and of the usefulness of engaging early in a process that promotes the understanding of risks, impacts, and costs. A majority of workshop participants prioritized pursuing physical and green infrastructure actions now or within coming years or decades. A positive common aspect of the three sites was the commitment shown by the stakeholders in taking part in the process and evaluating which adaptation measures could be more effective in their cities. While in the US and UK structural solutions and voluntary buyouts were prioritized for the future, Brazil prioritized structural solutions and ecosystems restoration and not voluntary buyouts. All of these are choices to increase resiliency against sea level rise that have a high benefit-cost ratio. The Adaptive Capacity Index (ACI) results illustrate barriers to adaptation action, including technical, economic and political issues that reveal inequalities in adaptive capacity among case studies.


Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer