Adapting to Climate Change Through Local Municipal Planning: Barriers and Opportunities
Municipal planning represents a major avenue for achieving adaptation at local and regional scales, however significant constraints need to be acknowledged and addressed if adaptation is likely to advance through this mechanism. This paper considers the role of municipal (local government) planning and in particular the key constraints which currently limit this avenue for adaptation. The paper reviews the constraints recognised in the adaptation literature including lack of information, institutional limitations and lack of resources. We further identify additional constraints which affect local government planning drawing on the field of community-based environmental planning. In relating these constraints to practical attempts towards adaptation, the paper considers planning based on a case study of three municipalities in Sydney, Australia. In doing so, we draw attention to factors thus far under-acknowledged in the climate adaptation literature. These include leadership, institutional context and competing planning agendas. These factors can serve as constraints or enabling mechanisms for achieving climate adaptation depending upon how they are exploited in any given situation. The paper concludes that, through addressing these issues, local, place-based planning can play a greater role in achieving climate adaptation
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