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Christine Wamsler. Photo

Christine Wamsler

Professor, Docent, appointed Excellent Teaching Practitioner (ETP)

Christine Wamsler. Photo

Adaptive capacity : from coping to sustainable transformation


  • Christine Wamsler
  • Ebba Brink


  • Tor Håkon Inderberg
  • Siri H. Eriksen
  • Karen L. O'Brien
  • Linda Sygna

Summary, in English

People’s accumulated local capacity is increasingly recognized to be critical in enhancing disaster resilience and transformation. Nevertheless, citizens’ coping strategies are little known or

documented, and hardly considered in city authorities’ and aid organizations’ work. Against this background, this study provides an overview and systematization of citizens’ strategies to cope with

increasing disasters and climate change, presents critical insights on the positive and negative effects of such strategies, and discusses the relevance of taking them into account when formulating development policies and projects. The study shows that coping should not automatically be seen as being maladaptive. The success or failure of urban societies in building disaster resilience, and

moving beyond towards sustainable transformation, is not dependent on the effectiveness of single coping strategies, but the level of flexibility and inclusiveness of individuals’, households’ and communities’ coping systems (i.e. their combined set of used strategies). Supporting citizens to negotiate their needs and rights in order to increase the flexibility and inclusiveness of these systems, and make them more viable in today’s context, is thus crucial.


  • LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
  • Lund University Centre for Risk Assessment and Management (LUCRAM)

Publishing year







Climate change adaptation and development: transforming paradigms and practices

Document type

Book chapter




  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary




  • ISBN: 9781138025981