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Climatic changes -- Prevention, Climatic changes -- Mitigation -- Latin America, Sustainable development, Climatic changes -- Case studies, Global environmental change, Climatic changes -- Social aspects


Cities are vulnerable to a range of environmental hazards that are likely to be exacerbated by climate change: floods, droughts, poor air quality, and heat islands are a few examples. Assessments of this vulnerability often include an evaluation of a city’s adaptive capacity, or its potential to respond to changes in the frequency or severity of environmental hazards as well as its ability to take advantage of or mitigate these changes. For example, at the city (e.g., institutional) level, a common metric of adaptive capacity is the availability and effective use of information. In many cases, a city would receive a yes/no rating, or perhaps a score between 1 and 10, to indicate an existing quantity of adaptive capacity embodied in the city’s decision-making processes and institutions. However, from both a research and practitioner perspective this method of assessment is not able to produce a usable understanding of the mechanisms and systems that underpin the availability and effective use of information in a city agency.


Note: At the time of writing Melissa Haeffner was affiliated with the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

A product of the Arizona State University Global Institute of Sustainability and Urbanization and Global Environmental Change (UGEC).

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