Economic intensification continues to increase along many of the world's coastlines. This intensification, which includes asset and infrastructure intensification, along with the increasing likelihood of inundation associated with sea level rise, implies an increasing risk profile for many coastal communities. In response, many cities and owners of major civil infrastructure have commissioned climate risk and adaptation studies in order to develop adaptation strategies. In many cases the same methods, terminology and approaches have been applied in studies of adaptation options for entire communities as for individual structures and assets. It is argued here that as a result of the different scales and complexity between whole communities and individual assets or structures, it is desirable that tailored approaches to identifying adaptation options need to be applied. In particular, it is recommended that categorising settlement and infrastructure studies into either community-scale, or infrastructure-scale problems will help to ensure that the most appropriate methodological approaches are be used.
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