Scenarios for assessing human vulnerability to extreme events and climate change at the local and regional level

Organizers: Joern Birkmann (University of Stuttgart), Matthias Garschagen (UNU)


The session focuses on the development and application of scenarios for human vulnerability and exposure to extreme events and risk. These scenarios aim to inform climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction strategies at the sub-national and local level. While the global SSPs are highly relevant for informing international and national adaptation strategies, scenario approaches at the sub-national and local level need to complement the global perspective. Based on concrete research projects and studies conducted in large and medium-sized cities, namely London (UK), Ludwigsburg and Bonn (GER) approaches, development challenges and results of such vulnerability and exposure scenarios are outlined. The studies provide new insights regarding the availability of data at the local level that can represent aspects of human vulnerability and adaptive capacities. In addition, they show the relevance of socio-economic scenarios for adaptation planning at the local level. Finally, the applicability and usefulness and limits are explored, particularly based on the discussions with practitioners in these cities. In this regard, emphasis is given to the question on how these scenarios can inform spatial and urban development and planning at the sub-national and local level. References and linkages to the global SSPs are discussed.