From blueprint to footprint: climate change and the challenge for planning

Leitch, Anne, Harman, Ben, and Lane, Marcus (2010) From blueprint to footprint: climate change and the challenge for planning. In: Bonyhady, Tim, Macintosh, Andrew, and MacDonald, Jan, (eds.) Adaptation to Climate Change: Law and Policy. Federation Press, Sydney, NSW, Australia, pp. 63-79.

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Climate change has emerged as a great challenge of our time. The rancorous debate about whether anthropogenic climate change is real is subsiding; the debate now pivots on how humanity might best respond to this challenge. In simple terms, there are two major dimensions to this response: reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation) and adapting to the impacts of a changing climate (adaptation). Historically, the focus has been on the mitigation or reduction of the amount of greenhouse gas, with adaptation largely neglected. However, more recently there is increasing recognition that adaptation to changing climatic conditions is a fundamental component of the policy equation at the international through to the local and individual scales.

In this chapter, we argue for a rethink of the role of urban and regional planning in the adaptation challenge. Emerging challenges to planning require a move from a rational, comprehensive form of planning that tends to assume it has control over the process and outcome - a 'blueprint' - to a style of planning that comprises both fixed and flexible elements, which we call a 'footprint'. The fixed elements - or the outline of the footprint - would include bold and broad policy and landscape futures over long time horizons with clear direction that supports integration across scales. More flexible elements of the footprint would take account of the scientific uncertainty inherent in climate change and enable greater emphasis to be placed on monitoring ecological change and flexibility in tactics and targets.

Item ID: 17074
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-186287-796-2
Keywords: climate change; adaptation; planning
Date Deposited: 09 May 2011 22:48
FoR Codes: 12 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 1205 Urban and Regional Planning > 120504 Land Use and Environmental Planning @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures @ 100%
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