Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction: Issues and Challenges

Clive M.J. Warren (University of Queensland, Business School, Brisbane, Australia)

Property Management

ISSN: 0263-7472

Article publication date: 18 October 2011



Warren, C.M.J. (2011), "Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction: Issues and Challenges", Property Management, Vol. 29 No. 5, pp. 491-492.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

This new text is an edited collection of chapters contributed by over 25 leading academics and researchers from leading universities around the world. It includes contributions from Europe Asia and the Pacific Region. As the title suggests this is perhaps not the typical reading material of property managers, but it does address issues that are of growing importance to us all both as citizens of the world and as managers of the built environment.

The book addresses the growing concerns that climate change is causing increasing incidences of natural disasters and warns that we need to prepare for the changes that will inevitably occur. The adaptation of the built environment and the way we manage our cities and buildings is specifically addressed with in part three of the book where chapters discuss city risk evaluation and adaptation to threats from natural disasters. It introduces the concept of the resilient city and the various roles of the individual and institutions in developing an adaptive capacity for our urban conurbations. The remainder of this part of the text explores issues related to coastal and river basin development and the particular vulnerabilities of these regions to natural disasters due to flooding and sea inundation. The final chapter in this section deals specifically with housing and the risks associated with development in areas prone to natural disasters. It incorporates discussion on building location and resilient design as well as the needs to undertake post‐disaster evaluation in order to learn from structural failures and the lack of resilience in existing urban housing.

Other sections of the book are less directly focused on the built environment. Part One presents an overview of climate change and international efforts to reduce the impacts of through proper risk evaluation and reduction strategies. It analyses the trends in natural disasters and points to the increasing occurrence of major disasters in recent times discussing the role which the United Nations (UN) is taking in trying to mitigate the effects of climate change. Part Two focuses on risk management aspects of climate change adaptation with chapters on governance and the role of education and communication in reducing climate change risk and increasing community resilience.

The final section of the text, Part Four, addresses the particular vulnerabilities of developing countries with chapters focused on specific areas seen to be most at risk of severe adverse effects of climate related natural disasters. There are chapters relating to South East Asia and the Pacific Islands among others.

Whereas this may not necessarily be a Property Management text it does provide a very thorough overview of the climate change debate and the role of the UN and governments in addressing the necessary adaptation and risk mitigation needed to reduce the projected impact of climate change. The sections specifically addressing the built environment are of particular relevance to property owners and managers and I recommend this text to those managers who are still struggling to thoroughly understand the particular implications for their buildings. There is a definite need to undertake comprehensive risk assessment and to put in place strategies to increase resilience of our cities and building assets and if reading this text will urge our custodians to commence doing this I recommend they do so quickly.

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