Municipal authorities' climate change adaptation plans: Barriers to the inclusion of intensified needs of vulnerable populations

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Climate Adaptation Plans (CAPs) usually include a section on urban resilience, in which policymakers are expected to address human needs created or exacerbated by climate-related emergency events. However, the urban resilience sections of CAPs tend to remain under-developed, with welfare-related risks often overlooked. Until recently, there has been limited acknowledgement of the barriers preventing the positioning of human need at the core of CAPs. To conceptualize and understand the impact of such barriers, this study used an agenda-setting approach. We examined the incorporation of vulnerable populations' needs into CAPs drawn up by municipal authorities in Israel, using the COVID-19 pandemic as a prompt for the assessment of barriers to agenda setting and lessons learned. Drawing on twenty interviews with senior administrators in Israeli municipal authorities, we identified three administrative barriers hindering the integration of vulnerable populations' intensified needs into CAPs. The barriers were created by disparities between confidence in their succeesful emergency management and their knowledge of unmet needs; between acceptance of responsibility and access to training, resources or impact; and between local initiatives and reliance on national funds. Overlooking administrative barriers is bound to leave scholarly understanding of the slow pace at which CAPs translate lessons learned from human crises into policy, limited or lacking.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101433
JournalUrban Climate
StatePublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Anat Chechik holds B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Environmental Economics and Management from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Geography and Environment at Bar-Ilan University. She is the head of a program in Environmental Management and Innovation in Corporates for MA students at her department. Her main research interests include regional economics and welfare, environmental consumer behavior, and the evaluation of ecosystem services. Anat published 34 peer-reviewed articles, many of which are in top journals including the European Review of Agricultural Economics, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Journal of Business Research, Transportation Research Part E, and Resources, Conservation and Recycling. She holds competitive grants from several agencies including H2020, the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection, and the Israeli National Insurance Institution.

Funding Information:
This study had two sources of funding: The Data Science Institute (DSI) awarded the authors the award A database of Urban Welfare Transfers (grant number: C225 247001-900-01 ). The Israeli National Insurance Institute (NII) awarded the authors the award The Impact of Cash Transfers on Urban Welfare in Israel (grant number: 18563 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • Agenda setting
  • Climate adaptation plans
  • Vulnerable population intensified needs


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