An Innovative Systems Approach for Research on Urban Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation
Summary, in English
This paper presents an innovative research on urban risk reduction and climate change adaptation that combines case studies, grounded theory and systems analysis, which could be used as a template for similar intersectoral and interdisciplinary investigations. Such a ‘case studies–grounded theory–systems analysis approach’ permits a grounded theory to be built from case study data, which is viewed and analysed as part of a system that includes causal factors and feedbacks. This is an important advancement of the linear paradigm model commonly used for axial coding, which is one of the data analysis tools of grounded theory. This new approach allows theory to be built not only on any specific situation/system, but also on how this situation/system could be improved (i.e. be positively influenced). Moreover, it allows investigations that cross the traditional boundaries between disciplines and sectors as regards: (a) the methods applied; (b) the research focus; (c) the heterogeneous set of practitioners and experts involved; and (d) the outcomes that are relevant to more than one discipline or sector. In this context, the combined use of interviews, group discussions, walk-through analyses, observations, text reviews, questionnaires, and, importantly, research workshops and ‘hands-on’ practice proved to be an effective means of attaining this.