Understanding resistance to resilience in coastal hazards and climate adaptation: three approaches to visualizing structural and process obstacles, opportunities and adaptation responses

AbstractThe US state of Rhode Island (RI) offers a unique case for examining the conditions that hinder or facilitate coastal resilience efforts, due to its small size, active coastal program, and dynamic engagement of stakeholders. A five-decade corpus of information on hazard events, studies, plans and policies, and database of more than 40,000 Rl Coastal Resource Management Council (CRMC) permit decisions helps reveal patterns of decision-maing related to coastal resilience. A social network map traces Rl stakeholder engagement revealing hidden areas of resistance resilience policies. Content analysis of documents and press coverage of decision-making in just one critical coastal area reveals 71 types of obstacles articulated by property owners and authorities. Current RI plans and studies are biased toward public engagement, filling information gaps, and designing new adaptation options. Deeper structural, financial and institutional sources of resistance to resilience remain and continue to be difficult to address.

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