Tutorial: Making Sense of the City Matrix

In the UAA, City-level scores are available graphically in the ND-GAIN Matrix, allowing for visual comparisons with other cities. UAA users may wish to compare their city’s risk and readiness scores to peer cities, neighboring cities or those with similar risk and readiness profiles.

For each city, the overall risk and readiness scores are highlighted at the top of the profile page. Next to those scores is a box noting the risk and readiness levels to be either high or low.  Click on the colored box or the “Comparable Cities?” link to access the Matrix.

On this matrix, risk scores fall along the vertical axis and readiness scores fall along the horizontal axis. The cartesian space is split into four quadrants To see where your city is positioned, type your city’s name into the “Find a city…” field at the top of the page. By selecting your city, its scores will be presented, and its position highlighted on the matrix. Mouse over the quadrant legend to show descriptions of each quadrant and the adaptation needs of cities that fall within this space.

Mouse over any city data point to show its risk and readiness scores. Clicking on a city data point will add it to your comparison list on the left. Alternatively, you can search for and add other cities of interest by typing more names into the “Find a city…” field. You can find and compare several cities, or hold Shift and click on multiple cities in the matrix. Within each city’s tile, risk and readiness scores are available along with a link to the city’s profile. Hovering over the tile will highlight a city’s location on the matrix. 

To export the matrix, whether with one city or several highlighted, click the menu icon at the top right corner of the matrix. Print the matrix, or download it in a number of file formats.

Comparing the relative vulnerability of UAA cities can be a valuable point for advocating for adaptation resources. Even cities with low risk and high readiness still need to prepare for the unpredictable effects of climate change, and sustainability leaders in cities with higher risk or lower readiness can work to emulate successful strategies in less vulnerable cities. Consider peer cities or those with similar risk and readiness profiles as potential partners for sharing information on approaches to adaptation strategies.