Climate change adaptation: city resilience in Australia

As Australia continues to urbanise and the effects of climate change are increasingly felt, there is growing need for well-founded climate change adaptation (CCA) actions for cities and towns across Australia. This project developed a tool to measure CCA in Australian towns and cities.

The CCA tool comprises a series of diagnostic questions, the answers to which indicate to municipal governments and stakeholders the strengths and weaknesses of their city or town in adapting to climate change threats specific to their context.

The CCA also tool identifies relevant metrics for each question and provides guidance on where the required data may be sourced.

The project extends knowledge of how to tailor the City Resilience Index (CRI) approach to specific settings and contexts, in this case Australian towns and cities, with a focus on climate change adaptation measures.

The tool can be used to generate a meaningful baseline (or best practice scenario) against which the adaptation ‘progress’ of a city or town can be understood and monitored.

The CCA tool contains questions tailored to CCA in Australia that have been drawn from the suite of questions in Arup’s City Resilience Index (CRI, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation).

CRI was devised to help cities understand and assess their resilience. Based on research in 28 cities globally, CRI sets out four dimensions of city resilience, each with three goals. Under these twelve resilience goals sit a suite of indicators and questions, each with an identified quantitative metric and qualitative scenario.

Arup’s CCA tool articulates climate change adaptation (CCA) in Australian cities in a comprehensive and holistic framework, enabling in-depth assessment and monitoring of individual city’s resilience to climate change.

Integrating the use of this tool into adaptation planning at the start of a long-term project will allow for the assessment and monitoring of adaptation in Australian cities and towns over time.