Institutional perspectives on operationalising climate adaptation through planning
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Adaptation to climate change is an imperative and an institutional challenge. This paper argues that the operationalisation of climate adaptation is a crucial element of a comprehensive response to the impacts of climate change on human settlements, including major cities and metropolitan areas. In this instance, the operationalisation of climate adaptation refers to climate adaptation becoming institutionally codified and implemented through planning policies and objectives, making it a central tenet of planning governance. This paper has three key purposes. First, it develops conceptual understandings of climate adaptation as an institutional challenge. Second, it identifies the intersection of this problem with planning and examines how planning regimes, as institutions, can better manage stress created by climate change impacts in human settlements. Third, it reports empirical findings focused on how the metro-regional planning regime in Southeast Queensland (SEQ), Australia, has institutionally responded to the challenge of operationalising climate adaptation. Drawing on key social scientific theories of institutionalism, it is argued that the success or failure of the SEQ planning regime's response to the imperative of climate adaptation is contingent on its ability to undergo institutional change. It is further argued that a capacity for institutional change is heavily conditioned by the influence of internal and external pathways and barriers to change, which facilitate or hinder change processes. The paper concludes that the SEQ metro-regional planning regime has undergone some institutional change but has not yet undergone change sufficient to fully operationalise climate adaptation as a central tenet of planning governance in the region.
Planning Theory & Practice
© 2013 Taylor & Francis. This is an electronic version of an article published in Planning Theory & Practice, Volume 14, Issue 2, 2013, Pages 198-210. Planning Theory & Practice is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com with the open URL of your article.
Urban and Regional Planning not elsewhere classified