Climate change as stressor in rural areas

Vulnerability assessment on the agricultural sector

Keywords: Climate change, Vulnerability, Rural areas, Agricultural sector


This research aims at identifying main risk factors on rural areas, investigating characteristics both of the stressor and of the system, providing ordinary planning with tools that are useful in a preventive perspective and not only in emergency conditions. Local vulnerability assessment is a key tool able to provide a framework for prioritizing choices and actions in different strategies and policies. In literature, many studies focus on the assessment of local vulnerability, but there are few directly site-specific methods concerning climate change as stressor in rural areas, although they are particularly vulnerable contexts to climate change. Vulnerability of rural areas is principally linked to their significant dependence on agriculture sector and to specific socio-economic dynamics, often responsible of inequalities within communities.

Starting from these assumptions, authors define a methodology to quantitatively assess, in rural areas, the level of vulnerability to climate change based on climatic and context analysis at the municipality scale. The methodology is based on numerical and statistical computation operations on a set of indicators of climate exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity in order to provide an aggregate Vulnerability Index. The paper presents the results of the application to the Calabrian territorial context of the Grecanica Area (Italy).


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Author Biographies

Mauro Francini, University of Calabria

Full Professor of Urban Engineering at the University of Calabria, his research activities include the study of models, techniques and tools for urban and territorial planning and management.

Lucia Chieffallo, University of Calabria

Engineer, Ph.D. student in Civil and Industrial Engineering at University of Calabria. Her research concerns physical, environmental, social, and economic actions in order to define a model for the regeneration of rural areas.

Sara Gaudio, University of Calabria

Engineer, Ph.D. in Civil and Industrial Engineering at University of Calabria. Her research activities are focused on urban resilience and risk management, with special reference to the complex relationship between spatial and emergency planning.


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How to Cite
Francini, M., Chieffallo, L., & Gaudio, S. (2021). Climate change as stressor in rural areas. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 53-71.
The Emergency Plan for the use and management of the territory