Tidal Flooding on the Clyde Options Analysis and Scoping of Adaptation Pathways

Adaptation pathways is a decision-making tool employed to adapt to climate change and the inherent uncertainties of future risk.  This research sets out to explore the evidence base to help design and apply adaptation (investment) pathways to the tidal reach of the Clyde drawing on international practice and UK guidance.

This research is a first for Scotland providing:

  • information to help frame actions and decisions at a local, regional and national level around future flood resilience and long-term adaptation on the Clyde;
  • practical insights into the application of adaptation pathways practice to the Clyde; and
  • a starting point for the co-design and development of a route map and future actions.

Over the last 200 years the Clyde has experienced significant adaptation and transformation. Building on this history of adaptation, stakeholders have expressed a desire to re-imagine the current relationship between the river, people and place; to create a vibrant connected river corridor and waterfront, and make the river “an asset to be proud of”.

The approach to adaptation for the Clyde will need to be transformation-orientated, with place making and resilience at the heart of investment decision making and future pathway design.


Recommended first steps for adaptation on the Clyde include to:

  1. agree a framework for the application of adaptation pathways for the Clyde that fosters systems-thinking and a process for place-based decision making;
  2. agree what “a resilient Clyde” means, to inform design principles for investment and pathway development, and shape indicators for monitoring and evaluation;
  3. establish a ‘resilience zone’, a geographic boundary for decision-making;
  4. build an action plan (Mission Map) for the first five years of investment; and
  5. scope and develop a knowledge portal to support innovation, collaboration and long-term monitoring and evaluation.

This independent report is yet another reminder of the climate change issues that we face, in this case along the Clyde. My challenge is this – that the partners in Clyde Mission, including this Government, the City Region and Local Authorities work together and with other key partners to fully consider this report and develop an approach which is innovative, assists and promotes investment and builds the resilience of our communities and businesses.”

Màiri McAllan, Minister for Environment and Land Reform

The successful cities of the future will be those which put climate change adaptation at the heart of decision making. This comprehensive report, focussing on the tidal Clyde, is an important first step in making climate change adaptation a business-as-usual consideration for communities, local government, agencies, and the private sector. I look forward to working with colleagues in Clyde Mission to translate the report’s recommendations into action.”

David Harley, Head of Water and Planning (SEPA), Climate Change Adaptation Lead (Clyde Mission)