Environmental migration & cities in the context of global environmental change (S.B. Adamo)


Susana B. Adamo


Environment, environmental migration, cities, migration inflows, GEC impacts, risk, secondary migration, displacement


There is a renewed interest in environmental migration and displacement that is fueled by concerns about the impacts of global environmental change on human populations. Regardless on-going debates about magnitudes and definitions, recent research on the topic shows a complex picture where environmental events are rarely the only drivers, several factors — among them the characteristics of the event and the degree of vulnerability — influence the outcome, and different types of mobility can be distinguished. Within this framework and in the context of global processes, research on the interactions among cities, environmental migration and GEC present two interrelated perspectives. On the one hand, cities are increasingly exposed to the impacts of GEC events, which can trigger environmental migration to other regions. On the other hand, they are the most common destinations of migration inflows, and environmental change outside of cities can exacerbate the influx of migrants to cities. The case of New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina dramatically illustrates these issues, highlighting the policy and governance dimensions.


(2010) Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 2(3), 161–165


Environmental migration and cities in the context of global environmental change