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Chapter 7 Climate Adaptation in the Face of Resource Constraints: Lessons from a Coastal South Asian Mega-City

Urban Areas and Global Climate Change

ISBN: 978-1-78190-036-9, eISBN: 978-1-78190-037-6

Publication date: 25 September 2012


Purpose – This work offers an investigation of the planning and implementation of climate-adaptation and vulnerability-reduction strategies in coastal mega-cities of the Global South, utilizing Kolkata, India, as a case study. This research is designed to identify factors that aid the implementation of climate-centered action in resource-constrained environments of developing countries and provide a set of policy guidelines reflecting best practices.

Methodology/approach – This work draws principally upon analysis of semistructured field interviews conducted in Kolkata, India, during December 2010 and January 2011. The findings are informed by additional data sources as well, including field observations, informal dialogues and meetings, and a review of secondary literature.

Findings – This work identifies several key success factors, including organizational restructuring, resource redistribution, technological innovation, use of external consultants, coupling of climate and development projects, and integration of climate approaches into infrastructure projects.

Research limitations – This research draws upon Kolkata as a case study; thus the work's broader applicability and utility depend on the similarities between the situation in Kolkata and that of other urban areas. As a local study, this work may also offer fewer insights for regional and national policy.

Originality and value – This work fills a timely, unmet need for a greater understanding of climate-adaptation action in the context of cities of the developing world. The extensive use of personal interviews provides unique insights into the minds of planning officials and professionals and draws upon their practical experience to draw lessons for a wide range of similar environments.



Dutta-Koehler, M.C. (2012), "Chapter 7 Climate Adaptation in the Face of Resource Constraints: Lessons from a Coastal South Asian Mega-City", Holt, W.G. (Ed.) Urban Areas and Global Climate Change (Research in Urban Sociology, Vol. 12), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 171-195.



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