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The practice of settling and enacting strategic guidelines for climate adaptation in spatial planning: lessons from ten Swedish municipalities
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research . Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Örebro University, Sweden .
2015 (English)In: Regional Environmental Change, ISSN 1436-3798, E-ISSN 1436-378x, Vol. 15, no 6, 1133-1143 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Spatial planning is increasingly expected to address climate change adaptation. In a Swedish context this has meant a predominant focus on risks of flooding, erosion and sea-level rise. Gradually, regulatory mechanisms and concrete strategies are evolving to support practical mainstreaming. The aim of this paper is to analyze how frontline planners approach climate change adaptation in an urban context, emphasizing the process of settling and enacting strategic guidelines in spatial planning. The study suggests that municipalities are being preactive i.e. preparing to act by settling guidelines rather than proactively implementing change when planning for new settlements. Further the process of accommodating climate risks involves problems. Settling strategic guidelines and determining appropriate levels for what to adapt to are but the start of approaching climate change. Guidelines represent more of an endeavor than settling absolute limits and actually applying the guidelines involves challenges of accessibility and aesthetics where the new waterfront limits meets older city structures. Further, guidelines are seen as negotiable since an overarching principle is to maintain flexibility in planning to allow for continued waterfront planning. Pursuing this path is motivated by current demand and previous urban settlement patterns. Also, as future protective measures are needed to secure existing urban areas at risk of flooding and erosion planners see no use in preventing further waterfront development. Although settling guidelines are important in preparing to act, their practical effectiveness all fall back to how they are actually implemented in daily planning. This leads us to problematize the role of strategic guidelines to secure a climate-proof spatial planning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2015. Vol. 15, no 6, 1133-1143 p.
Keyword [en]
climate adaptation, spatial planning, implementation, frontline practitioners, strategic guidelines, negotiating order
National Category
Other Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-111231DOI: 10.1007/s10113-014-0690-0ISI: 000358294000016OAI: diva2:755009

Funding: Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS) [214-2006-146]; Department of Environmental Change at Linkoping University; FORMAS research project CLIPP "Climate change policy integration in local policy and 

Available from: 2014-10-13 Created: 2014-10-13 Last updated: 2015-08-26

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