RAMSES Vulnerability assessment


Ramses handbook, go to table of contents, click ‘Worksheet no.3: Urban climate projections and climate impact detection’.


RAMSES is a European research project, which delivered much-needed quantified evidence of the impacts of climate change and the costs and benefits of a wide range of adaptation measures, focusing on cities. RAMSES engaged with stakeholders to ensure its outcomes are policy relevant and ultimately enable the design and implementation of adaptation strategies in the EU and beyond.

The ‘Vulnerability assessment’ worksheet developed within this project is a step-by-step description of steps to take in a vulnerability assessment. It can be found a an addendum of the RAMSES handbook and training package. It offers basic instructions how to identify vulnerabilities and assess them on a five-point scale. The descriptions are clear, sometime supported by examples and suggestions. As a method, it leaves a significant amount of work to the interpretation of the user group involved with performing the analysis.

Use in decision framework

 (part of) Risk analysis


The method calls for identification of impacts on ‘service areas’ (for which another worksheet is available), the assessment of sensitivity of those service areas for those impacts and the adaptive capacity of each service area. The process requires a team of knowledgeable and determined users to consistently score impacts and adaptive capacity over a broad range of fields of expertise (represented by the ;service areas’), taking on board both climate and biophysical considerations, technical considerations and socio-economic considerations. For taking on such a broad range of topics more specific guidance would be welcome and the time investment would be considered to be considerable (if the assessment is done properly).


The method calls for a team of experts to determine the sensitivity and adaptive capacity of a list of potential impacts on a list of ‘service areas’ (like environment, corporate Services, public Health, etc). The vulnerability of each combination of impact and service area can then be determined by using a look-up table in which the combination of sensitivity and adaptive capacity determines the vulnerability score on a five-point scale.


The method delivers a list of vulnerability assessments for each combination of type of impact and ‘service area’.


Not available