Towards a spatial planning framework for climate adaptation

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, 2012, 1 (1), pp. 29 - 58
Issue Date:
2012-05-25
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© 2012, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to build a bridge between climate change adaptation and spatial planning and design. It aims to develop a spatial planning framework in which the properties of climate adaptation and spatial planning are unified. Design/methodology/approach – Adaptive and dynamical approaches in spatial planning literature are studied and climate adaptation properties are defined in a way they can be used in a spatial planning framework. The climate adaptation properties and spatial planning features are aggregated in coherent groups and used to construct the spatial planning framework, which subsequently has been tested to design a climate adaptive region. Findings – The paper concludes that the majority of spatial planning methods do not include adaptive or dynamic strategies derived from complex adaptive systems theory, such as adaptive capacity or vulnerability. If these complex adaptive systems properties are spatially defined and aggregated in a coherent set of spatial groups, they can form a spatial planning framework for climate adaptation. Each of these groups has a specific time dimension and can be linked to a specific spatial planning “layer”. The set of (five) layers form the spatial planning framework, which can be used as a methodology to design a climate adaptive region. Originality/value – Previous research did not connect the complex issue of climate change with spatial planning. Many frameworks are developed in climate change research but are generally not aiming to meet the needs of spatial planning. This article forms the first attempt to develop a spatial planning framework, in which non-linear and dynamical processes, such as climate adaptation, is included.
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