Student information

MSc thesis subject: Tracking progress on climate change adaptation across spatial scales

Climate impacts are felt across the globe. Adapting to climate risks is critical to prevent negative impacts. Although many of these impacts have been observed and projected, we know very little about what governments are planning to do (and have done) to reduce those risks. Understanding this better is critical in monitoring progress and make informed decisions about, for example, the need for more investments, legislation or knowledge. Several examples of leading cities (e.g. Rotterdam) and countries (e.g. UK) have been reported in the literature, but these are mostly qualitative and cross-sectional studies that provide limited insights.

This project aims to develop a method to track and assess how cities/regions/countries are adapting to climate change by combining spatial with text-based analytics. You will develop appropriate tools to extract policy relevant texts from governmental repositories and websites that include reference on climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation. Based on the harvested data, you will then assess if and how climate change adaptation is reported at different spatial and/or administrative scales

There is no predetermined region or spatial scale at which this study can be conducted, but for reasons of access to data western European countries will be preferred.


  • Automate the process of data harvesting from governmental/municipal repositories and websites
  • Develop spatial database to store policy texts
  • Analyze data to provide insights on climate change adaptation reporting


  • Biesbroek, R et al (2018). Data, concepts and methods for large-n comparative climate change adaptation policy research: A systematic literature review. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change 9, e548.


  • INF-21306 Data Management
  • GRS-35306 Smart Environments

Theme(s): Modelling & visualisation, Empowering & engaging communities