CFP | Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Climate Change and Coastal Urban Development in the Asia-Pacific

Sharon Ong's picture
Call for Papers
November 7, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Environmental History / Studies, Geography, South Asian History / Studies, Urban Design and Planning, Urban History / Studies

64% of Asia’s population will be urban by 2050, with most dwelling in coastal areas that are increasingly at risk to disasters and climate change[1]. Coasts provide economic opportunities but expose people to intensifying hazards, with Asian coastal cities already suffering increased economic losses due to flooding[2,3]. Coastal cities in the Asia-Pacific region are experiencing more frequent extreme weather events which have spurred calls to invest in defenses against climate change impacts[4,5]. Concurrent to this, the challenge of addressing rapid urbanization and demographic change also pressures cities to further develop their coastlines such as through land reclamation[6,7].

There are typically four identified categories of adaptation strategies for cities and settlements by the sea to consider: advance, protect, accommodate, and retreat[3]. However, no single strategy can address climate change impacts while enabling growth. Thus, the IPCC indicates that a portfolio of these four strategies is needed to have a suitable adaptation pathway that would address climate risk and sustainable development[3]

This workshop explores how cities in the Asia-Pacific are balancing the need to address climate change impacts and address urban development concerns. This includes comparative consideration of how different visions of the future attenuate or exacerbate existing vulnerability, especially with climate change. How do cities and its communities in Asia-Pacific address both climate change and urbanization? Who gains the most from these developments? Who are left behind? Do cities and urban communities in Asia-Pacific ensure just and equitable adaptation to climate change and disaster risks and how?

The workshop will bring together experts and emerging scholars from across disciplines to discuss the current state of adaptation strategies in coastal cities and settlements by the sea in the Asia-Pacific region. The workshop will be transdisciplinary in nature and will foster a discussion of science, scientific uncertainty, and the role of the Social Sciences to the understanding the social, political, and cultural dimensions of the current and prospective adaptation pathways that coastal cities are forging, negotiating, and navigating.

Scholars and development practitioners are encouraged to submit a paper proposal related to one or more of the following:

  • Social dimensions of coastal defenses and nature-based solutions to climate change and urban development
  • Digital technologies and the social in advancing climate resilience in coastal urban areas
  • Communication of climate change effects, impacts, and uncertainty in coastal cities in Asia-Pacific
  • Climate anxiety and the future of Asia-Pacific coastal cities
  • Building resilience and ensuring social justice through adaptation pathways in at-risk coastal urban communities

Emerging scholars from the region, especially from Social Science disciplines or whose work has an integral Social Science component, are highly encouraged to submit.


Paper proposals should include a title, an abstract (250 words maximum) and a brief personal biography of 100 words for submission. Please use the paper proposal form and send it as a Word document file to by 7 November 2022. Successful applicants will be notified by late November, and be provided with partial airfare funding and/or three nights of accommodation at the workshop hotel (one author per paper). 

Please also include a statement confirming that your paper has not been published previously, it is not committed elsewhere, and that you are willing to revise your paper for potential inclusion in a special issue submission (in collaboration with the workshop organizers and other participants). Panel presenters will be required to submit concise drafts of up to 4,000 words (excluding references) by 16 January 2023. These drafts will be circulated to fellow panelists and discussants in advance. Drafts need not be fully polished as we expect that presenters are welcome to incorporate feedback from fellow participants.


[1]  R. Shaw, Y. Luo, T.S. Cheong, S. Abdul Halim, S. Chaturvedi, M. Hashizume, G.E. Insarov, Y. Ishikawa, M. Jafari, A. Kitoh, J. Pulhin, C. Singh, K. Vasant, Z. Zhang, Asia, in: H. Pörtner, D. Roberts, M. Tignor, E. Poloczanska, K. Mintenbeck, A.M. Alegría, M. Craig, S. Langsdorf, S. Löschke, V. Möller, A. Okem (Eds.), Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability.Contribution of Working Group II to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K., 2022.

[2]  W. Kron, Coasts: The high-risk areas of the world, Natural Hazards. (2013).

[3]  B. Glavovic, R. Dawson, W. Chow, M. Garschagen, M. Haasnoot, C. Singh, A. Thomas, Cross-Chapter Paper 2: Cities and Settlements by the Sea, in: H.-O. Pörtner, D.C. Roberts, M. Tignor, E.S. Poloczanska, K. Mintenbeck, A. Alegría, M. M. Craig, S. Langsdorf, S. Löschke, V. Möller, A. Okem, B. Rama (Eds.), Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press. In Press., Cambridge, U.K., 2022.

[4]   J. Herbeck, M. Flitner, Infrastructuring coastal futures: Key trajectories in Southeast Asian megacities, Erde. 150 (2019) 118–130.

[5]  A. Cao, M. Esteban, V.P.B. Valenzuela, M. Onuki, H. Takagi, N.D. Thao, N. Tsuchiya, Future of Asian Deltaic Megacities under sea level rise and land subsidence: current adaptation pathways for Tokyo, Jakarta, Manila, and Ho Chi Minh City, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. 50 (2021) 87–97.

[6] M. Martín-Antón, V. Negro, J.M. del Campo, J.S. López-Gutiérrez, M.D. Esteban, Review of coastal Land Reclamation situation in the World, Journal of Coastal Research. (2016).

[7]  A. Dedekorkut-Howes, E. Torabi, M. Howes, When the tide gets high: a review of adaptive responses to sea level rise and coastal flooding, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. (2020).



Dr Ven Paolo B. Valenzuela
Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore

Prof Tim Bunnell
Asia Research Institute, and Department of Geography, National University of Singapore

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Sharon Ong (she/her)

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