Managed urban retreat: the trouble with crisis narratives

M. Feisal Rahman, David Lewis*, Laura Kuhl, Andrew Baldwin, Hanna Ruszczyk, Md. Nadiruzzaman, Yousuf Mahid

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


In response to narratives of the mass movement of people triggered by climate change, a number of “managed retreat” models have been proposed as policy options, especially for densely populated urban areas in the Global South. Reviewing a case study from Mongla, a secondary city in southwestern Bangladesh, we argue that a “crisis narrative” unhelpfully informs current discourses of “climate migration”, and oversimplify complex realities, creating the risk that urban policy makers design managed retreat interventions that are poorly informed and maladaptive in that they may be accepted too uncritically, take overly technical forms, and may exacerbate rather than reduce the risk faced by those they are purportedly intended to assist.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-32
Number of pages10
JournalUrban Geography
Issue number1
Early online date7 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2024

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