Abstract The assessment of environmental vulnerability is a sound basis for environmental management measures because it provides an objective standard for the priorities for implementation. Although several methods have been used by international agencies to assess and compare national environmental vulnerabilities, relatively few methodologies have been proposed to assess vulnerability on the local scale. In this study, we developed a methodology to assess the environmental vulnerability of a coastal city, with the goal of overcoming the limitations of a previous method that compared countries' vulnerabilities on a global scale. We applied this methodology to Jakarta, Indonesia, to identify its utility in providing a basis for the development of environmental policy measures. We assessed the relative environmental vulnerabilities of Jakarta's five districts, using a conceptual diagram composed of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. For environmental exposure, we considered inundation due to heavy rainstorm, flood from sea level rise, and environmental pollution. For sensitivity, sectors of human and natural systems were considered using a land cover map from GIS data. To examine adaptive capacity, we addressed environmental awareness, policy foundation, economic status, and infrastructure. The assessment results showed that the East and North districts are more vulnerable than other districts. We suggested environmental policy measures for each district using radial graphs that show the dominant indicators within the composite index. Our proposed methodology has a significant relevance in the sense that it extracts key indicators of environmental vulnerability by considering local conditions, and provides a useful tool to compare results within a vulnerability assessment and to inform appropriate environmental policy measures.