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From Adaptive Capacity to Adaptation: Rethinking the Interface between Institutions and Citizens

  • Christine Wamsler
  • Ebba Brink
Publishing year: 2015
Language: English
Pages: 1-18
Publication/Series: Input paper for The State of DRR at the Local Level, A 2015 Report on the Patterns of Disaster Risk Reduction Actions at Local Level
Document type: Book chapter
Publisher: United Nations International Office for Disaster Reduction

Abstract english

There is an increasing consensus that individual adaptive capacities are critical to successfully adapt to climate change and achieve sustainable development. However, little is known about adaptive practices, particularly in developed countries. Against this background, this paper investigates the strategies used by Swedish citizens to adapt to (changing) climatic variability and extremes. It offers critical insights into the positive and negative effects of such strategies, and discusses their relevance in the formulation of development policies and programmes. The paper highlights how connections between climate and institutional development efforts affect individuals and their activities. The paper concludes that individual adaptive capacities do not necessarily translate into adaptation and that, consequently, planned interventions are required. The importance of more people-oriented adaptation planning, that fosters the sustainable transformation of cities is emphasized, together with the role that South-North knowledge transfer can play in this context.


  • Other Social Sciences


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