Pathways to Coastal Resiliency: The Adaptive Gradients Framework Hamin, E.M.; Abunnasr, Y.; Roman Dilthey, M.; Judge, P.K.; Kenney, M.A.; Kirshen, P.; Sheahan, T.C.; DeGroot, D.J.; Ryan, R.L.; McAdoo, B.G.; Nurse, L.; Buxton, J.A.; Sutton-Grier, A.E.; Albright, E.A.; Marin, M.A.; Fricke, R. Pathways to Coastal Resiliency: The Adaptive Gradients Framework. Sustainability2018, 10, 2629.
Abstract Current and future climate-related coastal impacts such as catastrophic and repetitive flooding, hurricane intensity, and sea level rise necessitate a new approach to developing and managing coastal infrastructure. Traditional “hard” or “grey” engineering solutions are proving both expensive and inflexible in the face of a rapidly changing coastal environment. Hybrid solutions that incorporate natural, nature-based, structural, and non-structural features may better achieve a broad set of goals such as ecological enhancement, long-term adaptation, and social benefits, but broad consideration and uptake of these approaches has been slow. One barrier to the widespread implementation of hybrid solutions is the lack of a relatively quick but holistic evaluation framework that places these broader environmental and societal goals on equal footing with the more traditional goal of exposure reduction. To respond to this need, the Adaptive Gradients Framework was developed and pilot-tested as a qualitative, flexible, and collaborative process guide for organizations to understand, evaluate, and potentially select more diverse kinds of infrastructural responses. These responses would ideally include natural, nature-based, and regulatory/cultural approaches, as well as hybrid designs combining multiple approaches. It enables rapid expert review of project designs based on eight metrics called “gradients”, which include exposure reduction, cost efficiency, institutional capacity, ecological enhancement, adaptation over time, greenhouse gas reduction, participatory process, and social benefits. The framework was conceptualized and developed in three phases: relevant factors and barriers were collected from practitioners and experts by survey; these factors were ranked by importance and used to develop the initial framework; several case studies were iteratively evaluated using this technique; and the framework was finalized for implementation. The article presents the framework and a pilot test of its application, along with resources that would enable wider application of the framework by practitioners and theorists. View Full-Text
Description This book provides an overview of the large and interdisciplinary literature on the substance and process of urban climate change planning and design, using the most important articles from the last 15 years to engage readers in understanding problems and finding solutions to this increasingly critical issue. The Reader’s particular focus is how the impacts of climate change can be addressed in urban and suburban environments—what actions can be taken, as well as the need for and the process of climate planning. Both reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as adapting to future climate are explored. Many of the emerging best practices in this field involve improving the green infrastructure of the city and region—providing better on-site stormwater management, more urban greening to address excess heat, zoning for regional patterns of open space and public transportation corridors, and similar actions. These actions may also improve current public health and livability in cities, bringing benefits now and into the future. This Reader is innovative in bringing climate adaptation and green infrastructure together, encouraging a more hopeful perspective on the great challenge of climate change by exploring both the problems of climate change and local solutions.
Abstract The Sustainable Adaptive Gradients in the Coastal Environment (SAGE) research collaboration network is composed of U.S., Caribbean, and European engineers, geoscientists, ecologists, social scientists, planners, and policy makers. The goal of SAGE is to establish international, cross‐disciplinary networks of researchers working on resilient coastal infrastructure (gray, green, and cultural), with a focus on understanding how varying coastal characteristics contribute toward resilient adaptation strategies (funded under National Science Foundation grant ICER‐1338767).