1st Edition

Climate Change and the Coast
Building Resilient Communities

ISBN 9780367864637
Published December 11, 2019 by CRC Press
596 Pages

USD $54.95

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Book Description

Coastal communities are at the frontline of a changing climate. Escalating problems created by sea-level rise, a greater number of severe coastal storms, and other repercussions of climate change will exacerbate already pervasive impacts resulting from rapid coastal population growth and intensification of development. To prosper in the coming decades, coastal communities need to build their adaptive capacity and resilience.

Telling the stories of real-world communities in a wide range of coastal settings, including America’s Gulf of Mexico coast, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, The Maldives, southern Africa, Bangladesh, and Vietnam, the case studies in Climate Change and the Coast: Building Resilient Communities reveal a rich diversity of adaptation approaches.

A number of common themes emerge that indicate opportunities, barriers, and on-ground realities for progressing adaptation at the coast. Together, they highlight the need to consciously reflect on current circumstances, contemplate future prospects, and deliberately choose pathways that are attuned to the changing circumstances climate change will bring to coastal regions. This process is termed "reflexive adaptation," capturing the principle of critical self-reflection and self-correction in the face of adversity, uncertainty, surprise, and contestation.

  • Provides practical advice for adapting to climate change based on case studies written by leading specialists with firsthand experience in real-world communities in diverse coastal settings around the globe

  • Integrates insights from research and practice in an accessible way so that coastal communities can plan proactively for a future shaped by climate change

  • Explains how climate change compounds pervasive unsustainable practices in coasts around the world

  • Explores how coastal governance and adaptation theory and practices have evolved

Table of Contents

Part I. Coastal communities and the climate change imperative. Introduction. Climate drivers in the coastal zone. On the frontline in the Anthropocene: Adapting to climate change through deliberative coastal governance. Part II. Climate change and the coastal zone: North America. Social-ecological change in Canada’s Arctic: Coping, adapting, and learning for an uncertain future. Climate change and infrastructure adaptation in coastal New York City. Crisis on the delta: emerging trajectories for New Orleans. Part III. Climate change and the coastal zone: South and Southeast Asia. Building resilient coastal communities by enabling participatory action: A case study from India. Climate adaptation technologies in agriculture and water supply and sanitation practice in the coastal region of Bangladesh. Coastal zone management and climate policy in Vietnam. A climate for change: A comparative analysis of climate change adaptation in rapidly urbanizing Australian and Chinese city regions. Part IV. Climate change and the coastal zone: Australasia. The evolution of coastal vulnerability assessments to support adaptive decision-making in Australia: a review. Adapting Australian coastal regions to climate change: a case study of South East Queensland. From coping to resilience: The role of managed retreat in highly developed coastal regions of New Zealand. Part V. Climate change and the coastal zone: Small islands. A tale of two atoll nations: a comparison of risk, resilience, and adaptive response of Kiribati and the Maldives. Planning for coastal change in Caribbean small islands. Part VI. Climate change and the coastal zone: South America. A risk-based and participatory approach to assessing climate vulnerability and improving governance in coastal Uruguay. The promise of coastal management in Brazil in times of global climate change. <

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Bruce C. Glavovic holds the EQC Chair in Natural Hazards Planning at Massey University, New Zealand. His research explores the role of governance and land-use planning in building resilient and sustainable communities. He has over 25 years of experience in academia, private consulting, and government, mainly in the Republic of South Africa, the United States, and New Zealand. He is currently vice-chair of the Land–Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ) Scientific Steering Committee.

Robert C. Kay is principal consultant of Coastal Zone Management Pty (Ltd) and of Adaptive Futures, Claremont, Australia, two niche consulting companies advising governments, communities, and companies worldwide on the challenges posed by climate change impacts. Dr. Kay has 25 years of experience in climate change impact assessment, coastal zone management, and planning through work in government, consulting, and academic sectors. He holds a position of visiting adjunct professor at the Sustainability Research Center at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia. He has an honours degree in geology (Wales) and a PhD in environmental science (East Anglia, UK).

Philip Michael (Mick) Kelly is a consultant with Tanelorn Associates based in New Zealand’s winterless north. Having retired from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, where he specialized in research on mechanisms of climate change and climate vulnerability, he now manages 69 acres of regenerating bush and is committed to community-based science projects.

Ailbhe Travers is a coastal geomorphologist with over ten years of experience in environmental studies, focusing specifically on the coastal realm. She holds an honours degree in environmental science (University of Ulster) and a PhD in geography and environmental systems engineering at the University of


"Most of the thousands of books about climate change and coastal impacts have either a thematic focus … or they treat specific areas or regions. This book offers 22 case studies, presented by 50 diverse authors, that represent most oceans and seas of the world. ... Summing up: Highly recommended. General readers; upper-level undergraduates through professionals/practitioners."
—F. T. Manheim, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA for CHOICE, November 2015

"This book brings together more than 50 authors to explore challenges and opportunities for building the resilience and sustainability of coastal communities in the face of climate change. Case studies from different regions make it highly relevant to a wide range of scholars and practitioners. The emphasis on practical adaptation strategies and coastal governance is very timely and important."
—Joern Birkmann, United Nations University and IPCC Lead Author

"The book is not prescriptive in its conclusions — it encourages diversity — but it is clear that living with risk will be an increasingly central element of life and development planning on the coast. Planners, students and residents of the coast will value this book for its clarity, comprehensiveness and messages for the livability of future coasts."
— Mark Pelling, King’s College London

"… contains case studies from all major world regions. … The specific focus on coastal adaptation/resilience – as opposed to a general treatment of coastal management (with a minor subtext of climate change) or a generic treatment of adaptation (with maybe one or two coastal examples) is of particular interest to me – and likely many others working in coastal environments. I also appreciate the roles the editors have played in coastal adaptation over the better part of 2-3 decades. It smells like experience, and thus credibility."
— Susanne C. Moser, Susanne Moser Research & Consulting

"This is an importa