Swarm planning for climate change: An alternative pathway for resilience

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Building Research and Information, 2012, 40 (5), pp. 606 - 624
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Swarm planning is a theory and practical approach to deal with uncertain futures. By anticipating scenarios such as a post-carbon world and a pre-adaptive landscape, it offers an alternative pathway to prepare for medium-term incremental and step changes. The focus is on the regional scale with a planning process to move from an unstable state (i.e. due to external impacts of climate change) towards a state of higher adaptive capacity. It increases the flexibility of spatial systems in two ways: assisting change in spatial land use over time; and catalysing the emergence of autonomous and more resilient developments. Swarm planning theory is used in two pilot designs and compared with regular planning processes. The results are presented in the form of new landscapes: the Zero-Fossil Region, where the design provides a spatial framework for a complete renewable energy supply, and the Net Carbon Capture Landscape, in which adaptation and mitigation strategies are designed to become carbon positive. The comparison illuminates the potential advantage of swarm planning to tackle climate change threats. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.
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