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Methodologies and Tools

There are a large number of organizations developing new methods and tools to assist in adaptation planning and resilience building at many scales, and also in urban areas. This section brings together some of these, focusing first on urban areas and moving out to global publications. Click on "More..." or the image to access the document.

For methodologies, tools and frameworks developed by ICLEI, please see ICLEI's Adaptation Work

Integrating Natural Infrastructure into Urban Coastal Resilience - Howard Beach, Queens

Type: Report

Publisher: The Nature Conservancy (TNC) 

Date: December 2013

This case study provides a first of its kind look at how natural defenses, in conjunction with built infrastructure, can help protect our communities from the impacts of climate change. Given New York City’s density, in many parts of the City it is more cost-effective to protect people and property from climate risks at the neighborhood or regional scale than home by home or through relocation. This case study is focused on neighborhood scale protection alternatives and offers a methodology that could be replicated and applied to other coastal communities to evaluate the efficacy and relative costs and benefits of potential coastal resilience strategies. Read more... 

Urban vulnerability to climate change in Europe – an interactive map book

Type: Map book

Publisher: On Climate-ADAPT platform, European Commission and European Environment Agency 

Date: 2015

This map book aims to provide a Europe-wide overview of the potential vulnerability of major cities to climate change. The interactive maps pinpoint possible weaknesses or problematic areas. The indicated vulnerabilities will encourage stakeholders at European, national and city level to explore each situation in further detail. Furthermore, the map book enables cities to locate other cities with similar circumstances, as a starting point for sharing knowledge and experience. Read more...

Road to Resilience: A guide to leading a resilient life

Type: Book

Publisher: TARU Leading Edge Pvt. Ltd (TARU)

Date: 27 March 2015

Under the initiative of Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN), TARU has published this book as a guide to leading a resilient life. The book aims at urban households, colonies and clusters and provides bottom-up resilience building options for augmenting urban services through conservation of local resources and waste recycling options. It provides solutions based on principles of conjunctive management of resources, demand focused end-use as well as subsidiary to increase autonomy at local scales.

This initiative is supported by The Rockefeller Foundation through Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) programme. Under ACCCRN programme, several decentralize options were demonstrated. Read more... 

The Vulnerability Sourcebook Concept and guidelines for standardised vulnerability assessments

Type: Sourcebook/tool

Publisher: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), in cooperation with adelphi & the European Academy of Bozen (EURAC)

Date: August 2014

The Vulnerability Sourcebook provides a standardised approach to vulnerability assessments covering a broad range of sectors and topics as well as different spatial levels (community, subnational, national) and time horizons (e.g. current vulnerability or vulnerability in the medium to long term). The Sourcebook also offers step-by-step guidance for designing and implementing a vulnerability assessment which covers the entire life cycle of adaptation interventions, using consistent methods proven on the ground. This is illustrated with examples and lessons learned from pilot applications in Bolivia, Pakistan, Burundi and Mozambique. More...

The Urban Adaptation Support Tool 

Type: Online Tool

Publisher: On Climate-ADAPT platform, European Commission and European Environment Agency 

Date: 2014

The Urban Adaptation Support Tool has been developed as part of the Mayors Adapt initiative of the European Commission. This meta-tool incorporates existing practical guidance and knowledge support to signatory cities, as well as to any other interested cities, towns or stakeholders. It supports urban adaptation decision-makers, practitioners and interested stakeholders with a quick-start step-by-step guidance through the adaptation planning and implementation cycles. It also facilitates easy access to in-depth, expert information and data by providing a comprehensive up-to-date database of literature and information sources for each step of the urban adaptation cycle. 

The Urban Adaptation Support Tool consists of six steps that together help users:

  • explore risks and vulnerabilities to current and future climate,
  • identify and assess adaptation options,
  • develop and implement a climate change adaptation strategy and/or action plan, and
  • monitor its results


How To Make Cities More Resilient- A Handbook For Local Government Leaders

Type: Handbook

Publisher: UNISDR, GFDRR

Date: 2014

The most used and widely appreciated “How to make cities more resilient: a handbook for local government leaders” is now available in multiple languages.

This handbook provides mayors, governors, councilors and other local government leaders with a generic framework for risk reduction and points to good practices and tools that are already being applied in different cities for that purpose. It discusses why building disaster resilience is beneficial; what kind of strategies and actions are required; and how to go about the task.

It offers practical guidance to understand and take action on the "Ten Essentials for Making Cities Resilient" as set out in the global campaign "Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting Ready!" to which 1678 cities are now participating.

You can download the handbook, from the following links








Urban Climate Resilience: A review of the methodologies adopted under the ACCCRN initiative in Indian cities

Type: Working Paper

Publisher: IIED

Date: 2013

This working paper series aims to present research outputs around the common theme of urban climateresilience in Asia. It serves as a forum for dialogue and to encourage strong intellectual debate over conceptsrelating to urban resilience, results from the ground, and future directions. The series is also intended toencourage the development of local research capacity and to ensure local ownership of outputs. More...

Toolkit for Resilient Cities - Infrastructure, Technology and Urban Planning

Type: Research Report

Publisher: Arup, RPA, Siemens

Date: 2013

The report especially explores the role of technology in enhancing the resilience of cities and their critical infrastructure systems, and the enabling actions that can support a new approach to system design and delivery. Find the report here and click here for more information (such as a summary for decision makers) about the report on the Siemens webpage.

Tools for Building Urban Resilience: Integrating Risk Information into Investment Decisions

Type: Report

Publisher: World Bank

Date: 2012

This report explores practical approaches to building urban resilience. It focuses on tools and methodologies that can facilitate the use of risk information in public infrastructure investment and urban management decisions as integral elements of reducing disaster and climate risks. More...

Tracking adaptation and measuring development 

Type: Report

Authors: Brooks, N., Anderson, S., Ayers, J., Burton, I. and Tellam, I.

Publisher: IIED

Date: November 2011

This paper presents a coherent framework for climate change adaptation programming, including potential indicators, or indicator categories/types, for tracking and evaluating the success of adaptation support and adaptation interventions. More...

Climate Resilient Cities. A Primer on Reducing Vulnerabilities to Disasters

Type: Primer

Author: Prasad, N. Ranghieri, F. Shah, P. Zoe Trohanis, Z. Kessler, E. Sinha, R.

Publisher: World Bank

Date: 2010

This explanatory text contains templates for self-directed completion by city planners. it includes links to Disaster Risk Reduction, identifying "hotspots" and sound practice examples. More...

Framework for City Climate Risk Assessment

Type: Report & Framework

Author: Mehrotra, S. et al

Date: June 2009

Published for the Fifth Urban Research Symposium, this report outlines a framework along three risk lines: Hazards, vulnerabilities and adaptive capacity. It reports on the results of testing the developed framework in four large cities. More...

Observations on the Use of Climate Information in Adaptation and Resilience Practice

Type: Working Paper

Author: Opitz-Stapleton, S.

Publisher: ISET (Climate Resilience in Concept and Practice Working Paper Series)

Date: December 2010

This paper reviews the use of climate data in adaptation methodologies and planning approaches. It issues some cautions on the best use of science data in city adaptation and resilience planning. More...

A blueprint for the integrated assessment of climate change in cities

Type: Working Paper

Author: Dawson, R. et al 

Publisher: Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research (Working Paper 129)

Date: February 2009

This Paper first provides an overview of the risks faced by cities in the light of climate change, and the challenges faced by city planners in responding to these risks. It outlines an initial integrated assessment system to aide city planners. More...

Screening tools and guidelines to support the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation into development assistance- a stocktaking report

Type: Report

Authors: Anne Olhoff, Caroline Schaer

Publisher: UNDP

Date: February 2010

This report consolidates literature on mainstreaming adaptation in order to clarify a working definition and attempts to clarify the relationship between mainstreaming and existing climate risk screening methods and tools. More...

Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis Handbook

Type: Handbook

Author: CARE

Date: May 2009

This handbook outlines CARE's methodology for a community-based approach to adaptation. It aims to analyze vulnerability to climate change and adaptive capacity, focusing on the community level. The methodology is designed as a starting point for project managers in international development, local governments, NGO's and communities. More...

Vulnerability and adaptation to climate change: A community-based vulnerability assessment.

Type: Bulletin

Author: MercyCorps

Date: October 2009

This document outlines MercyCorps vulnerability assessment, and walks through a real-life example of its application in two coastal cities in Indonesia: Semarang and Bandar Lamung. More...

How Local Resilience Creates Sustainable Societies: Hard to Make, Hard to Break

Type: Book

Author: Philip Monaghan

Publisher: Routledge

Date: February 2012 

Drawing on case studies from around the globe; Brighton, Cape Town, Madison and Matara, Philip Monaghan identifies ways in which local and national leaders can create sustainable societies with cost effective approaches. More...

Visualizing Climate Change: A Guide to Visual Communication of Climate Change and Developing Local Solutions

Type: Book

Author: Stephen R.J Sheppard

Publisher: Routledge

Date: February 2012

Sheppard uses dramatic visual imagery to identify a principal method to create awareness of the brutal but expected effects climate change will have on the globe, and also to engage the community on the subject. More…