Adapting the western region of Adelaide for climate change.

Readiness. Response. Resilience.

The Western Adelaide Region in South Australia lies between the city and its beautiful, busy beaches and ports along the coastline of Gulf St Vincent. Climate change poses unique challenges to the infrastructure, economy and lifestyle of this special and important region.

But Adelaide’s West has a plan.

The AdaptWest Climate Change Adaptation Plan, developed collaboratively by the cities of Charles Sturt, Port Adelaide-Enfield and West Torrens comprising the Western Adelaide Planning Region, identifies the real and specific implications of climate change; and provides realistic strategies for residents, businesses, organisations and agencies of our western community to get ready, to respond and build resilience to the present and future challenges of climate change.

The project is now in the implementation phase – AdaptWest in Action.

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About the AdaptWest Initiative

The adaptation plan - Supported and funded by State, Commonwealth and local government departments and agencies (Partners), the plan addresses key priorities for local council operations and decision-making, and informs our community and key stakeholders about opportunities for practical action to adapt to our changing climate – starting now – and safeguard the region’s lifestyle and productivity.

The AdaptWest plan was developed in three stages. 

Stage 1: We prepared a scientific report (2013) looking at the projected climate conditions in our area. We took a 'snapshot' of the western area to see who we are socially, environmentally and economically. 

Stage 2: We developed 5 research papers on topics of particular relevance to our area. The papers can be found here


In March 2015 we held a series of workshops to look at the key issues in our region. This was based on research results of our studies. These workshops were run with professionals, Elected Members, and local community representatives. The workshops looks at how project changes in climate conditions might impact on:

  • vulnerable communities
  • environmental and coastal assets
  • core economic functions
  • infrastructure assets

You can read a summary from these workshops:

Stage 3: We used the results of assessment to develop adaptation options and activities. This has helped us manage the risks and effects of climate change. It helps us ensure the resilience and sustainability of our region into the future.


This website explains those priorities and opportunities. If you wish, you can read the full report which drives the AdaptWest Plan. You can also read more information for all SA regions.

The Adaptation Plan identifies potential effects of climate change across Western Adelaide

CSIRO Climate Change projections indicate that Australia’s climate has warmed since national records began in 1910, especially since 1950. Mean surface air temperature has increased by around 1.0°C since 1910. Australia’s top warmest years on record included 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017.

The study identified climate change and its potential effects across Western Adelaide, which is home to around 300,000 residents and 21,000 businesses, as well as key state infrastructure such as hospitals, port and wharf facilities, electricity infrastructure and assets – and the Adelaide Airport.

Urban Heat mapping was undertaken to indicate priority areas, and a gap analysis has identified actions that have been implemented to date, and what the future priorities are across the region. The three Western councils are already using this information to guide and enable our regional adaption actions across the region.

The Adaptation Plan identifies 7 key priorities for action

  • Building strong and connected communities
  • Preparing our businesses and industry to be aware and resilient
  • Protecting our coastal assets and environment
  • Enhancing open and green spaces to cool our urban environment
  • Managing stormwater to protect and enhance where we live and work
  • Increasing the resiliency of transport and essential services
  • Improving residential dwellings to be resilient to climate change.


The AdaptWest Partnership

The Regional Adaptation Plan was supported and co-funded by contributions from the Commonwealth Government through the Natural Disaster Resilience Program; South Australian Fire and Emergency Services Commission and the South Australian Department of Environment and Water; and Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board.
The planning phase of the program occurred between 2010 and 2016 culminating in the approval of the AdaptWest Climate Change Adaptation Plan. The development of the Regional Adaptation Plan was undertaken by a consultant team led by Urban and Regional Planning Solutions in association with Seed Consulting Services and AECOM.

Changing for Climate Change