Protecting the Coastline from the Effects of Climate Change: Adaptive Design for the Coastal Areas of Gangneung, Korea


The purpose of this research is to present design strategies to enable coastal areas to adapt to climate change and maintain the coastlines by addressing the environmental and urban issues. Gangneung is a tourist attraction situated on South Korea’s east coast, and there is an urgent need for integrated research on strategies to prevent the loss of sandy beaches and the damage caused by storm surges and high swell. This research has two objectives: The first is to offer an overview and describe the characteristics of exemplary projects carried out to manage the storm damage while maintaining the coastlines. The second is to propose a design model that can be applied to coastal areas susceptible to climate change by analyzing the design strategies and the current conditions of the Gangneung coastal area. In the case of Gangneung, the damage caused by the storm surges and high swells are more severe compared to inundation caused by sea level rise because of the steep slope and deep water. Therefore, adaptive design strategies are mainly focused on accommodation and retreat strategies that consider these characteristics by moving the coastal roads behind the pine forest and raising the coastal buildings to connect the coast to the forest and to prevent coastal erosion. This research has the potential to be used as an exemplary design adaptation for coastal erosion as well as a basis for regulating the land use policy in areas susceptible to flood by establishing guidelines for publicly funded developments, and preparing long-term relocation plans for the existing coastal developments to create a sustainable and resilient future for the coastal areas.

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Lee, Y. (2015) Protecting the Coastline from the Effects of Climate Change: Adaptive Design for the Coastal Areas of Gangneung, Korea. Journal of Building Construction and Planning Research, 3, 107-115. doi: 10.4236/jbcpr.2015.32011.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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