Conceptualizing urban vulnerability to global climate and environmental change

AMS Citation:
Romero Lankao, P., and H. Qin, 2011: Conceptualizing urban vulnerability to global climate and environmental change. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 3, 142-149, doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2010.12.016.
Resource Type:article
Title:Conceptualizing urban vulnerability to global climate and environmental change
Abstract: Research on urban vulnerability has grown considerably in the last several years but is still largely limited and characterized by constraints based on interdisciplinary differences in definition and scope. This review explores how urban vulnerability has been framed in recent climate change and risk research and examines the contributions and limitations each of these approaches can make to research and policy. The existence of different lineages of research on urban vulnerability offers opportunities for understanding the nature and the linkages between the key dimensions and determinants involved, and hope for a synthesis and convergence, yet some daunting challenges persist. There are discrepancies in the focus, definition of key terms, methods and policy implications of each of the knowledge areas. Research on urban vulnerability is faced with a tension between the need to represent differences within and across urban areas given by the context specific nature of the dimensions and factors involved, and the desire to identify determinants and attributes of adaptive capacity and resilience across urban areas. A set of concepts and tools that cut across knowledge areas is needed to improve the understanding of how urban vulnerability is characterized and determined by issues such as thresholds, tipping points, second and third order impacts, and responses.
Peer Review:Refereed
Copyright Information:Copyright 2011 Published by Elsevier B.V.
OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7cz37r3
Publisher's Version: 10.1016/j.cosust.2010.12.016
  • Patricia Romero Lankao - NCAR/UCAR
  • Hua Qin - NCAR/UCAR
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