Select adaptation approaches


A list of appropriate approaches has been defined that address the adaptation goals and requirements. However, stakeholders might have certain preferences with regards to possible solution approaches. In this step the preferential objectives will be selected for further consideration in next steps..


The list of appropriate approaches forms the basis for developing the shortlist of objectives to work with in the next steps. The analysis of stakeholders, their roles and commitment provide guidance in involving the right stakeholders in the selection of approaches.


The results of this step will be a shortlist of preferred adaptation approaches that matches goals and requirements of the area or asset under study.


The shortlist of adaptation approaches will ideally be selected by a wider circle including officers from other city departments and external stakeholders. The group size might be dependent on the scale of the problem defined (problem definition, climate threat and risk assessment) and the stakeholder environment. Their support for the selected objectives is important and will be addressed in the next step.

  • Analyse advantages and disadvantages of adaptation approaches1)At least for coastal and fluvial flooding objectives, the development of such an analysis is foreseen within the Resin project and will be added to this aspect when finished.
  • Select stakeholders to consult in the selection of preferable adaptation approaches
  • Contact stakeholders (interview, meeting) to reflect on the adaptation approaches
  • Select the preferable adaptation approaches

in practice often a mixture of approaches is chosen, often clearly reflecting political or practical preferences.



In Bratislava the adaptation approaches reflect the seriousness of impacts caused by heatwaves followed by occasional intensive rainfall and periods of droughts, with the need to secure sustainable living conditions and integrate adaptation approaches into other sectoral policies and strategic documents of the city. Therefore, the specific goals outlined in the strategy focus on the following areas

  • make the city and its inhabitants more resilient by decreasing vulnerability of relevant sectors,
  • increase the awareness of lay and expert public,
  • integrate adaptation into strategic planning and
  • regulations and link adaptation and mitigation options – especially in areas such as energy, built environment, land-use planning and environment and biodiversity.

Greater Manchester

GM has taken an Adaptation Pathways Approach to identifying and prioritising adaptation options. Such adaptation pathways approaches have been developed to deal with situations of deep uncertainty, such as climate change (e.g. Haasnoot et al. 2013; Wise et al. 2014). This recognises that climate change adaptation is place and context specific – no one solution will address a problem for all people, in certain geographical contexts, and over time (IPCC 2014). There is also a recognition that near-term responses to climate change adaptation and mitigation may also impact upon the future choices available.

Rather than focusing on one specific adaptation solution, the pathways approach is iterative and incorporates elements of flexibility and adaptability into the process of adapting to climate change. It allows for a number of visions to be developed into multiple ‘pathways’ that represent the different choices that may be made at various points in the future as circumstances change or new information becomes available. This should help policymakers to identify routes that increase resilience and decrease risk, and, possibly develop one or more pathways to support an adaptation plan and to avoid ‘lock-in’ and ‘maladaptation’.

Within the RESIN project, its conceptual framework (RCF) (Figure 1) outlines the processes through which urban resilience can be built. On the right hand side is the adaptation planning cycle. The step-wise process here notes that, following an assessment of climate risk, adaptation options should be prioritized and, subsequently, an implementation plan should be developed. However, key knowledge gaps exist and an Adaptation Pathways approach has been suggested as the main process to follow in order to move from assessing risk, to identifying adaptation options, and developing an implementation plan.


Within GM, this pathways approach has been undertaken alongside the ongoing climate change risk assessments that underpin the GM RESIN Case Study with the aim of:

This adaptation options work followed a wider spatially oriented climate change flood risk assessment for TfGM. Specific objectives linked to this RESIN/TfGM collaboration on adaptation pathways included:

  1. Defining the acceptable thresholds and adaptation objectives
  2. Appraising adaptation options and prioritising between them.
  3. Identifying ‘adaptation turning points’ in order to set the context for decision making.
  4. Identifying potential climate resilient pathways through developing a ‘route map’ which includes different adaptation options and decision points.
  5. Involving stakeholders in the development of the multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) to understand the implications of different pathways.

The choice was made to focus on TfGM who are engaging in the RESIN project via an assessment of the risk of current and potential future (accounting for climate change) flooding to their assets and networks. This risk assessment assisted in the identification of potentially risky ‘hotspots’. And the pathways approach built on the outcomes of this risk assessment by focussing on a particular site to be selected by TfGM – Bolton Transport interchange. This site was selected because:

  • it contained a number of transport functions, e.g. a transport interchange.
  • The initial identification, informed by the outcomes of the flood risk assessment and in collaboration with TfGM, that the site was exposed to a level of climate risk and fitted within TfGM’s existing organisational priorities e.g. through their future strategy documents.
  • It was a site with existing infrastructure, linked to an area where there is planned future developments.

Supporting tools and methods


Optioneering can be defined as a methodology to identify breakthrough projects, e.g. feasible and bankable city district developments to raise city’s resilience level.

The optioneering session will be supported by the Bankability Resiliency Tool (BART). The BART is a MCA/CBA-based tool. The tool compares both costs and benefits from different adaptation measures. The size of application could be varied, different adaptation options could be combined; and BART will provide insight into the cost-benefit ratio.


The BART is a (finance) module that provides insights on how to align additional investments and profits; identifying additional costs, (engineered) additional value, how to captured value and what financial arrangements would be best to apply.

The BART is used to select adaptation approaches, based on needed investments versus expected added value. The tool analyses the investments connected to adaptation measures, calculates the expected benefits and provides insights into the cost-benefit ratio. It also splits the investments and profits over the different shareholders and future consortium partners, directly aligned to their interest.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. At least for coastal and fluvial flooding objectives, the development of such an analysis is foreseen within the Resin project and will be added to this aspect when finished.