EGU21-12228, updated on 01 Aug 2023
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A coastal urban adaptation model with time-discounting, optimizing and satisficing decision making

Dmitry Kovalevsky1 and Jürgen Scheffran2
Dmitry Kovalevsky and Jürgen Scheffran
  • 1Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS), Helmholtz‐Zentrum Geesthacht, Germany (
  • 2Research Group Climate Change and Security (CLISEC), Institute of Geography, Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability (CEN), Universität Hamburg, Germany (

We develop a discrete-time coastal urban adaptation model where the ‘present’ and ‘future’ time periods are distinguished. In the model, the city anticipates sea level rise and related coastal hazards with adverse impacts on urban economy in the future period. However, the magnitude of future sea level rise and induced climate damages are known with uncertainty. The urban planning agent has to make at present a decision on how much to invest in climate adaptation (in the form of construction of coastal protection). We explore three complementary models of decision making. They include the intertemporal maximization of time-discounted expected utility of consumption and two versions of the VIABLE modelling framework with an optimizing and a satisficing urban planning agent, respectively. It is shown that in certain model setups, investment decisions depend discontinuously on the value of key model parameters. In particular, when these parameters are varied, the urban planner can discontinuously switch from the ‘business-as-usual’ (BaU) strategy, when no adaptation investment is taken, to a proactive adaptation.

How to cite: Kovalevsky, D. and Scheffran, J.: A coastal urban adaptation model with time-discounting, optimizing and satisficing decision making, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12228,, 2021.

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