Household adaptation to climate change and the resilience of Australian urban areas

C.E. Elrick-Barr

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference presentation/ephemera


Urban areas are important sites for climate change adaptation. Consequently, integrating climate change into urban policy and planning has received recent academic attention; less attention however has been placed on the interface between urban governance and local scale adaptive action. This is despite consensus that local-level capacities are critical for successful adaptation. In Australia, building community capacity to adapt is mandated in adaptation and hazard management policy, yet there is limited understanding of current household response and influencing factors; hindering the development of evidence-based policy seeking to develop capacity for action. To address this gap in understanding, a systematic literature review of household adaptation in Australian urban areas was conducted, combined with case study research examining household adaptation in two Australian coastal communities. The assessment indicates pro-environmental actions are more frequent than actions to reduce vulnerability to environmental hazards; and adaptation is limited. Further, despite the importance of household adaptation in contributing to urban resilience, action is unlikely to be autonomous. Therefore the concept of shared responsibility advocated by government agencies, which places onus for adaptation on households, may require refinement to accommodate constraints and limits to household action.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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