Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space
Cities are key sites of action for adaptation to climate change. However, there are a wide variety of responses to hazards at the municipal level. Why do communities take adaptive action in the face of weather- and climate-related risk? We studied what cities are doing in response to existing natural hazards, such as floods, droughts, and blizzards as an analog for understanding the drivers of adaptive behavior toward climate change risks. We conducted a survey of 60 U.S. municipalities followed by six in-depth case studies in the intermountain west states of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah that regularly experience weather and climate extreme events. Our analysis shows that perception of risk and external factors such as planning requirements and availability of funding stand out as important drivers. Nevertheless, political action is rarely driven by a single factor or event. Overall, our results suggest that multiple factors interact or act in combination to produce an enabling environment for action in the face of weather- and climate-related risk.
Dilling, Lisa; Pizzi, Elise; Berggren, John Gordom; Ravikumar, Ashwin Jay; and Andersson, Krister, "Drivers of adaptation: Responses to weather- and climate-related hazards in 60 local governments in the Intermountain Western U.S." (2017). Environmental Studies Faculty Contributions. 9.