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Vulnerability to climate change impacts

Within EcoCities, we have looked at the vulnerability of infrastructure and urban communities to climate change impacts. Vulnerability is taken as the susceptibility to harm from weather and climate events. In other words, if an event does occur, how much damage will it do? Research such as this can help adaptation strategies target the most vulnerable.

The vulnerability of communities to surface water flooding, an event that is likely to increase in the future with more intense rainfall, was investigated.  The groups particularly susceptible to harm include urban communities characterised by material deprivation and cultural diversity. These communities also live in areas with lower proportion of green space, which may increase surface water runoff and increase the risk of flooding.

Another report explores the risk of flooding to infrastructure in Greater Manchester. Mapping of different infrastructure types against areas at risk of flooding from rivers and surface water flooding highlights that critical infrastructure (e.g. electricity substations or water treatment plants) may be most susceptible to flooding. However, social and emergency infrastructure (e.g. hospitals, fire stations, GP surgeries etc) are less susceptible to flooding and may provide important lifelines for communities during flooding.

When weather and climate events do occur in Greater Manchester, it is clear that not all infrastructure and communities will be equally affected. These findings can help to guide and prioritise adaptation responses developed to address these risks.

Data and maps on the vulnerability of communities and infrastructure to weather and climate impacts can be viewed on the spatial portal. Links are provided to additional resources on vulnerability.



Spatial Portal
Spatial Mapping

Spatial portal

Toolkit to assess vulnerability of urban areas to climate change, using spatial data.



Latest issue


This is issue three of the EcoCities Blueprint magazine. It led with the article: 'What's going on up there? Climate projections for Greater Manchester.'

Risk of flooding to infrastructure in Greater Manchester


Risk of flooding to infrastructure in Manchester

At the local level, a detailed inventory of infrastructure, combined with the spatial distribution of hazards, can assist efficient planning and management for local...

'Surface water flooding risk to urban communities: Analysis of vulnerability, hazard and exposure.’ Landscape and Urban Planning 103(2), 185-197.


Surface water flooding risk to urban communities

This report is a pre-print version of an article published in the Landscape and Urban Planning Journal.

Developing appropriate responses to address...

Assessing Social and Physical Flood Risk in Urban Area: the case of Greater Manchester


Flood risk in Greater Manchester

The role of emergency services in responding to extreme weather events


Emergency services and extreme weather events