Megacities and the Coast: Global Context and Scope for Transformation

Sophie Blackburn*, Mark Pelling, César Marques

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


We now know a good deal about the physical and social functioning of large urban systems, and also of coastal zones-yet relatively little work has traversed the intersection of large-scale urbanization on the coast. This chapter identifies a lack of conceptual clarity and intersecting policy responsibilities as two reasons for this lack of focus. In response, it suggests a number of guiding parameters and priorities for coastal cities research, policy, and practice, focusing on the complex and compounding drivers of risk in mega-urban regions. The chapter outlines broad levels of hazard and vulnerability in coastal megacities (ranging from hydrological to environmental health risks), explaining these are products of the interplay between multiple forms of change (demographic, infrastructural, environmental, social, economic, etc.). It highlights the role of innovation, inclusive knowledge capture, and responsive social institutions in opening possibilities for resilience and transformation, and makes the case for more integrated coastal-urban futures.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCoasts and Estuaries
Subtitle of host publicationThe Future
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780128140048
ISBN (Print)9780128140031
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2019


  • Hazard
  • Resilience
  • Risk
  • Transformation
  • Urban


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