What weADAPT users are saying: Urban adaptation and its challenges

Submitted by Daniel Morchain | published 20th Aug 2012 | last updated 20th Aug 2012


Photo by Phyllis Grifman

It's been two months since we sent out the link to the weADAPT urban adaptation survey and we have obtained 16 responses so far... must be the summer break.

While we get more responses in the coming weeks, I thought I'd share with you some initial results and views from these 16 experts in the field. Experts responded from all over the world, except Latin America and the Middle East, and most of them are researchers/educators.

So: Is there any common ground - or, rather, opposed views - forming so far?

Firstly, 13 out of 16 respondents agree or strongly agree that difficulty in obtaining funding for planning and implementing adaptation measures is a major barrier to urban adaptation (see figure below). No one disagrees with the statement.

Secondly, respondents largely coincide in that resources to plan and implement urban adaptation measures should either come from the national level, the private sector, or international bodies, such as the UNFCCC. In other words, although adaptation solutions are most frequently localised and highly context-specific, experts do not see cities and local governments as the institutions in charge of coming up with the funding to implement these.

Another common position (so far) is that funding should be allocated as the result of a bottom-up process and it should take a long-term problem solving perspective.

And, how should these funds be invested, once they are available? Thirteen out of 16 respondents suggest to use a combination of mostly "soft" (e.g. better management and use of resources and capacity building initiatives) and a few "hard" (e.g. technical and built) measures.

We will update and publish more results of this survey in the coming weeks, as new input is received. If you haven't completed the survey yet, you're invited to do so - it shouldn't take more than 2-3 minutes. Thanks very much to those of you who already did!

Meanwhile, you're welcome to share your comments on these first, rough, results of the survey. Please use the form below; thanks!