Drivers of urban resilience to climate change in the USA


  • Avoiding or mitigating flooding: Bottom-up drivers of urban resilience to climate change in the USA
  • Global Environmental Change, Volume 59, November 2019, 101981
  • Author : Koende Koning, Tatiana Filatova, Ariana Need, Okmyung Bin

This study explores several private adaptation responses to flood risk, that are driven by various behavioral triggers. We conducted a survey among households in hazard-prone areas in eight coastal states in the USA to examine the decision to retreat from flood zones. We find that households’ choices to retreat from or to avoid flood zones (1) are highly sensitive to information that provokes people’s feelings of fear, and (2) rely on hazardous events to trigger a protective action, which ideally would take place well before these events occur.

We highlight that major flooding may cause a potential risk of large-scale outmigration and demographic changes in flood-prone areas, putting more low-income households at risk. Therefore, coordinated policies that integrate bottom-up drivers of individual climate adaptation are needed to increase urban resilience to floods.