Climate change and sea level rise necessitate adaptation strategies for coastal areas. This paper showcases five strategies for sea level rise adaptation: hard protection, soft protection, accommodation, retreat, and attack. This study proposes adaptation measures and a phased development strategy for coastal areas of Mokpo, an old port city on the southwestern tip of the Korean Peninsula that has been expanded by land reclamation. Mokpo presently experiences frequent flooding during high-water and storm events; due to their low elevation and land subsidence, most of the reclaimed areas are susceptible to future inundation via sea level rise. The fundamental adaptation strategies for the impact areas are: hard protection of important infrastructures via multi-tiered terraces; the retreat of coastal developments accompanied by green buffer zones such as wetlands and parks to accommodate temporary inundation; and up-leveling the ground for new development and phased relocation of existing development. Through the case study of Mokpo, the paper emphasizes the importance of resilient planning strategies for urban development, and highlights both the challenges and opportunities for sea level rise adaptation.
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