The attractiveness and urbanisation of coastal zones increase their vulnerability to climate change and sea-level rise, in particular to flooding and marine erosion. In the face of the projected increase in losses and damages, the anticipation and measures needed for adaptation involve physical, socioeconomic and political dimensions at different governance levels and timescales. A large literature addresses these various issues, generally in a targeted way. Drawing on adaptive policy pathways approaches and on research results of the past decade in mainland France, this article proposes an interdisciplinary characterisation of long-term adaptation pathways in coastal areas. Among the different variables and processes of change that characterise coastal zones and their future, particular emphasis is placed on social and institutional dynamics. This work contributes to the debate about adaptive governance in a highly uncertain context as well as to recent work to explore pathways and tipping points in support of climate adaptation policies.
Paving the way to coastal adaptation pathways: An interdisciplinary approach based on territorial archetypes
25 May 2020