This chapter compares local policy choices and examines the nature of existing adaptation efforts. The chapter suggests that adaptation planning in Atlanta is limited at best (described as “nonexistent” by one interviewee) and strongly focuses on green infrastructural solutions. The findings suggest that, in both regions, there was a lack of dedicated adaptation action but rather unintentional or quasi-adaptation efforts (if not initiated from the provincial level in China). Accidental adaptation efforts such as Jinhua’s Sponge City pilot and Atlanta’s neighborhood revitalization programs such as the Beltline and floodwater management parks are discussed.
In contrast to Georgia state, which has been traditionally skeptical of climate-related efforts, the chapter suggests that different adaptation efforts were rolled out by the provincial government in Zhejiang, providing Jinhua with a more enabling environment. Awareness about the social dimension of climate vulnerability was higher in Atlanta but action nonexistent, even politically contested. In Jinhua, there was little awareness and little intentional action on this particular matter. Reasons are drawn from the interviews and analyzed from a lock-in perspective, which sit at the intersection of knowledge and politics. Three facets were discussed in greater detail: 1) the dominance of certain knowledge paths, 2) the lack of shared knowledge and 3) the perception of overcomplexity.