Special Issue "The Role of Coastal Residents in Adapting to Climate Change: Social, Political, Cultural and Economic Dimensions"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Climate Change".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 21 August 2021.
Deadline for Abstract submissions: 21 November 2020

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Carmen Elrick-Barr
Guest Editor
Sustainability Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, QLD, 4558, Australia
Interests: human-environment interactions; environmental governance; social values; coasts; climate change adaptation, monitoring and evaluation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Coastal zones are at the forefront of climate impacts while also being the locus of human activity and development. While much research attention has been placed on the role and capacity of governance authorities in responding to climate challenges on the coast, coastal residents who are key actors in the adaptation process are less frequently addressed. Coastal residents, however, play an integral role in adaptation which shapes, and is shaped by, institutional, political, economic, social, and environmental conditions. This Special Issue focuses on the ways local coastal residents engage in climate change adaptation. We are interested in papers that address:

  • The role of coastal residents in planning and implementing topical adaptation responses, such as managed retreat;
  • The collaborative governance approaches residents engage in to drive or shape local, regional or national adaptation;
  • The interrelations between hazard management, climate change adaptation, and sustainability-related household responses;

as well as papers that contribute new understanding toward:

  • The nature of household adaptive capacity in coastal communities;
  • The factors affecting household level adaptation decision-making;
  • The processes that facilitate and inhibit adaptation by residents of coastal communities.

Coastal adaptation assessments often treat householders as a unit requiring management—focusing on the policy tools and approaches that can be applied ‘on’ communities to reduce their exposure to climate risks. Coastal residents are, however, autonomous agents capable of change, and this Special Issue particularly invites papers that explore the processes through which coastal residents manage their exposure to climate risks, for example, via direct personal action, collective action, collaborative governance models, and/or other mechanisms to leverage the resources (e.g., political, human, or financial) necessary for adaptation in coastal areas.

Dr. Carmen Elrick-Barr
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • household
  • community
  • coastal management
  • adaptation
  • resilience
  • governance
  • adaptive capacity
  • co-management
  • transformation
  • responsibilization

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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