Adaptation to climate change in coastal towns of between 10,000 and 50,000 inhabitants

Ken Doust*, Anja Wejs, Ting Ting Zhang, Andrew Swan, Nahid Sultana, Christian Braneon, Johannes Luetz, Laura Casset, Sandra Fatorić

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter focuses on mainland coastal towns that have populations of between 10,000 and 50,000 inhabitants. Through six case studies, the chapter develops an understanding of the characteristics that shape each of the communities. By exploring the climate change hazards each of the case studies are experiencing now and forecast into the future, the physical and ecological profile and the human development condition, a view of the climate impacts for each is shaped. The six case study areas include towns that are large enough to be a regional centre, down to much less organised and resourced communities that are at a more subsistence level of development. The case studies include communities that range from tropical storm areas to more temperate climatic areas. Adaptation strategies for each case study are observed, drawing out the similarities and the differences. Insights and lessons learnt show that the bottom-up inclusion of all communities in shaping the adaptation approach is crucial, together with alignment of policy between governments from national to local. Also crucial is the resourcing of local councils which sit on the front line of many adaptation initiatives. The role of universities and other research organisations to provide data, skills training and a toolbox of methodologies to those in the front line leadership roles. An important insight is the collaborative opportunity for universities, communities and agencies to draw out the innovative adaptation strategies that can inform other coastal communities from the smallest village to the largest city.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105790
Number of pages8
JournalOcean and Coastal Management
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project

Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Bottom up adaptation
  • Climate change
  • Coastal hazards
  • Coastal towns
  • Engaging communities


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