Adaptation Options Library


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The Adaptation Options Library is a searchable database of all kinds of adaptation measures, addressing climate risks including heat; pluvial, fluvial and coastal floods; and drought. The performance of these measures has been evaluated through an extensive review of scientific literature, with references corresponding to each measure indicated as relevant. There are two entry points to the Library: a ‘quick access’ entry point for a basic review of available measures, and another for a more detailed investigation. Search filters allow you to find and compare measures depending on your main interests, with effectiveness and cost efficiency among the criteria available for comparison.

  • To select adaptation measures
  • To benchmark adaptation measures depending on their cost-efficiency and effectiveness
  • To better understand different types of measures
  • To support Covenant of Mayors reporting
  • To extract relevant information to support the design and implementation of selected measures
  • To find literature for further investigation
  • To help prioritise measures and design adaptation pathways

The Library provides information that can help you prioritise adaptation options as part of a long term planning process (see diagram on page 16). The RESIN project has developed an approach for prioritising options8 based on the following key elements:

  • Access to the Adaptation Options Library
  • 2-stage multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA)
  • Box-ticking
  • CLIMACT-Prio tool for MCDA
  • Stakeholder workshops

Involving the right stakeholders is key to successfully de-termining priorities. This is true for the whole process, but especially when identifying (and weighting) criteria. Criteria should be as simple, measurable, available and relevant as possible to achieve the desired aims. The RESIN team, based on available information and feedback from partner cities, proposes the backbone criteria pictured at Figure 10.


Also supported by the Library, an adaptation (or climate resilient) pathway is an iterative, ongoing process of decision-making, informed by a strategic vision and with a focus on experimentation and learning, so that decisi-ons can be altered and outcomes improved over time10. The process of designing an adaptation pathway can be divided into four key steps, outlined below. Steps 3 and 4 are assisted by the prioritisation approach.

  • Step 1: Analyse context, define objectives and set acceptable risk threshold
  • Step 2: Identify adaptation options and assess their effectiveness
  • Step 3: Develop potential adaptation pathways by aggregating different options, and sequencing them over time according to the relevant turning points11, objectives and scenarios
  • Step 4: Recommend an adaptation pathway using MCDA

More information

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