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Complementing Institutional with Localised Strategies for Climate Change Adaptation: A South–North Comparison

  • Christine Wamsler
  • Nigel Lawson
Publishing year: 2012
Language: English
Pages: 28-53
Publication/Series: Disasters
Volume: 36
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

Climate change and disasters pose a serious risk to sustainable development. In the South local coping strategies are an important element of adaptation to climate and disaster risk. Such strategies have arisen because of the limited assistance provided by urban actors and associated social security and governance systems. In contrast, in the North local coping strategies are comparatively poorly developed. However, the extent of the changing climatic conditions is also reducing the capacity of Northern institutions to deal with climatic extremes and variability, which emphasizes the need for more local-level engagement in the North. This paper analyzes the differences in local and institutional responses to climate change and disasters in a Southern and a Northern city (San Salvador and Manchester), and highlights how the lessons learned might be translated into an improved distributed governance system; that is, an "integrated engagement model", where local and institutionalized responses support rather than hinder each other, as is currently the case.


  • Building Technologies
  • Other Civil Engineering
  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • distributed governance
  • Climate change
  • adaptation
  • coping strategies
  • disaster


  • ISSN: 1467-7717
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