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Cities, disaster risk and adaptation
  • Christine Wamsler

Worldwide, disasters and climate change pose a serious risk to sustainable urban development, resulting in escalating human and economic costs. Consequently, city authorities and other urban actors face the challenge of integrating risk reduction and adaptation strategies into their work, although related knowledge and expertise are still scarce.

Cities, Disaster Risk and Adaptation explores ways in which resilient cities can be ‘built’ and sustainable urban transformations achieved. The book provides a comprehensive understanding of urban risk reduction and adaptation planning, exploring key theoretical concepts and analyzing the complex interrelation between cities, disasters and climate change. It further provides an overview of current risk reduction and adaptation approaches taken by both city authorities and city dwellers from diverse contexts in low-, middle- and high-income nations. On this basis, the book presents a planning framework for reducing and adapting to risk in urban areas, expanding on pre-existing positive actions and highlighting current gaps and shortfalls in theory and practice. The importance of a distributed urban governance system is highlighted, where citizens’ and urban institutions’ adaptive capacities can support and complement each other.

This book presents a holistic approach throughout, integrating perspectives and practice from risk reduction and climate change adaptation from a specific urban perspective. The text is richly supplemented with boxed case studies written by renowned academics and practitioners in the field and ‘test yourself ’ scenarios to integrate theory into practice. Each chapter also contains learning objectives, end of chapter questions, suggested further reading and web resources, as well as many tables and figures. This book will be essential reading for undergraduate and postgraduate students across the disciplines of environmental studies, geography, international development, sociology, sustainability studies, urban studies and planning.

  • Climate change adaptation,
  • disaster risk reduction,
  • urban resilience,
  • urban planning,
  • sustainable urban development
Publication Date
Citation Information
Wamsler, C. (2014) Cities, disaster risk and adaptation. London: Routledge.