Reducing vulnerability to climate change in the Swiss Alps: a study of adaptive planning

Hill, Margot; Wallner, Astrid; Furtado, Jose (2010). Reducing vulnerability to climate change in the Swiss Alps: a study of adaptive planning. Climate policy, 10(1), pp. 70-86. Abingdon, UK: Taylor & Francis 10.3763/cpol.2008.0536

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

The Swiss Alps will experience pronounced effects of climate change due to the combination of their latitudinal positioning, altitude and unique ecosystems, placing socio-economic stresses on alpine communities, many of which rely on seasonal tourism. Studies into tourism adaptation within the Swiss Alps have so far focused on the technical adaptation options of alpine stakeholders, rather than perceptions of adaptation to climate change at the operational and community level. This article investigates attitudes to adaptation in two alpine regions within Switzerland's well-established decentralized political framework, through semi-structured qualitative interviews. Stakeholders focused almost entirely on maintaining the status quo of winter tourism, through technical or marketing measures, with mixed attitudes towards climatic impacts. A matrix based on the relative internal strengths and weaknesses, external opportunities and threats of adaptation measures (a SWOT framework) was used to assess the measures and suggest how stakeholders could capitalize on the new opportunities thrown up by climate change to create a competitive advantage. A comprehensive and collaborative planning approach is vital to enable policy makers and stakeholders to maximize opportunities, minimize the adverse effects of climate change on the local economy, and develop inclusive adaptation measures that benefit the entire region in order to create more sustainable social, economic and environmental structures.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > NCCR North-South Management Centre [discontinued]
10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Wallner, Astrid


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics




Taylor & Francis




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:19

Last Modified:

21 May 2015 08:42

Publisher DOI:


Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 210924)

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback