Rethinking Coastal Community Approaches to Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation

Carlo Sørensen*, Per Knudsen, Per Sørensen, Thomas Damgaard, Mads R. Molgaard, Jürgen Jensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Low-lying coastal communities face almost insurmountable challenges from floods and climate change. Research work on adaptation and mitigation particularly emphasizes on cities and mega-cities as a natural consequence of their agglomeration of people and assets. Less focus is put on smaller coastal communities and their challenges, one of which is a lack of local expertise and knowledge. Adaptation to climate change is often a local governance level task, however. Co-work between municipal and national authorities, the utility company, research, business, consultants and citizens has resulted in a common framework to address and deal with water-related challenges in a Danish coastal community. From an assessment of combined impacts of climate change (i.e. sea level rise and storm surges, precipitation and cloudbursts and associated groundwater level responses) and stresses from degrading sewer systems and land subsidence, impact zones are mapped. The multi-player, end-user defined work transcends sectors and builds capacity by sharing data and knowledge. It mainstreams climate change issues into business, management, planning and early warning: the overall goal is an adaptation strategy unfolded from stakeholder involvement and responsibility, cost-effective decision making, climate-related asset management processes and a holistic livable cities approach to this highly vulnerable coastal community. The collaboration and common framework enable the actors to articulate need of information and establish feedback mechanisms between local level work and e.g. sea level research and climate services.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Coastal Research
Pages (from-to)1521-1525
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event15th International Coastal Symposium - Haeundae, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 13 May 201818 May 2018


Conference15th International Coastal Symposium
CountryKorea, Republic of

Bibliographical note

Special Issue - Proceedings of the 15th International Coastal Symposium


  • Coastal flood modeling
  • Combined impacts
  • Process-oriented collaboration

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