Journal or chapter

Care-full and just: Making a difference through climate change adaptation

Cities special issue: Cities of Care (2019)

In 2015, floods in South Dunedin New Zealand became a catalyst for a different way of ‘doing’ climate change adaptation.

We document how Tronto’s (2013) caring is demonstrated in a significant shift in the relationship between and within affected communities and the Council since the floods.

We argue that just adaptation invokes care, and that care and justice are co-constituted when the moral dimensions of caring with are institutionalised in both community and local authority adaptive practices.


  • Just climate change adaptation requires changes in how communities and decision-makers relate to each other.
  • Tronto’s ‘caring with’ enables respect, trust, reciprocity, and care to be included in climate change adaptation.
  • Care and justice are co-constituted when ‘caring with’ is institutionalised in climate change adaptation practices.
  • A case study of flood affected suburbs demonstrates new and innovative approaches to care-full adaptation.
  • Community engagement involves continuous relationship building to enable collective responsibility for justice.


Climate adaptation, vulnerability and community well-being