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An Innovative Systems Approach for Research on Urban Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation

  • Christine Wamsler
Publishing year: 2010
Language: English
Pages: 188-215
Publication/Series: Systemist
Volume: 23
Issue: 3
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: UK Systems Society

Abstract english

This paper presents an innovative research on urban risk reduction and climate change adaptation that combines case studies, grounded theory and systems analysis, which could be used as a template for similar intersectoral and interdisciplinary investigations. Such a ‘case studies–grounded theory–systems analysis approach’ permits a grounded theory to be built from case study data, which is viewed and analysed as part of a system that includes causal factors and feedbacks. This is an important advancement of the linear paradigm model commonly used for axial coding, which is one of the data analysis tools of grounded theory. This new approach allows theory to be built not only on any specific situation/system, but also on how this situation/system could be improved (i.e. be positively influenced). Moreover, it allows investigations that cross the traditional boundaries between disciplines and sectors as regards: (a) the methods applied; (b) the research focus; (c) the heterogeneous set of practitioners and experts involved; and (d) the outcomes that are relevant to more than one discipline or sector. In this context, the combined use of interviews, group discussions, walk-through analyses, observations, text reviews, questionnaires, and, importantly, research workshops and ‘hands-on’ practice proved to be an effective means of attaining this.


  • Other Civil Engineering
  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • Architecture
  • Building Technologies
  • cultural theory
  • Systems analysis
  • systems research
  • climate change
  • adaptation
  • risk reduction
  • grounded theory
  • case study


  • ISSN: 0961-8309
Christine Wamsler
E-mail: christine [dot] wamsler [at] lucsus [dot] lu [dot] se

P.O. Box 170, SE-222 70 Lund, Sweden
Phone: +46(0)46- 222 80 81
info [at] lucsus [dot] lu [dot] se