Green infrastructure for urban climate adaptation: How do residents’ views on climate impacts and green infrastructure shape adaptation preferences?

M.L. Derkzen, A.J.A. van Teeffelen, P.H. Verburg

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Cities are particularly prone to the effects of climate change. One way for cities to adapt is by enhancing their green infrastructure (GI) to mitigate the impacts of heat waves and flooding. While alternative GI design options exist, there are many unknowns regarding public support for the various options. This study aims to fill this gap by performing a socio-cultural valuation of urban GI for climate adaptation that encompasses multiple dimensions: people's notion of and concerns about climate impacts, the degree to which people acknowledge the benefits of GI to alleviate such impacts, and people's preferences for different GI measures, including their willingness to pay (WTP). Data were collected through photo-assisted face-to-face surveys (n = 200) with residents in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and linked to GI GIS data. Respondents had a notion of and concerns about climate impacts, but did not necessarily acknowledge that GI may help tackle these issues. Yet, when residents were informed about the adaptation capacity of different GI measures, their preferences shifted towards the most effective options. There was no information effect, however, on people's WTP for GI, which was mostly related to income and ethnicity. Our study shows that economic valuation alone would miss nuances that socio-cultural valuation as applied in this paper can reveal. The method revealed preferences for particular adaptation designs, and assists in detecting why policy for climate adaptation may be hampered. Understanding people's views on climate impacts and adaptation options is crucial for prioritizing effective policy responses in the face of climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-130
Number of pages25
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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