Urban planning and sustainable adaptation to sea-level rise

Hurlimann, Anna, Barnett, Jon, Fincher, Ruth, Osbaldiston, Nick, Mortreux, Colette, and Graham, Sonia (2014) Urban planning and sustainable adaptation to sea-level rise. Landscape and Urban Planning, 126. pp. 84-93.

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Sea-level rise poses major challenges to coastal land uses, and therefore to urban planning processes. In theory, if done well, urban planning can lead to responses to sea-level rise that are socially and environmentally sustainable. In practice, urban planning processes may fall short of this ideal. We use multiple methods to describe and analyse how urban planning processes have led to adaptation to sea-level rise in Lakes Entrance in Victoria, Australia. Adaptation has principally taken the form of restrictions on development on low-lying land. In this town, which is considered particularly vulnerable to sea-level rise, the urban planning process and its outcomes have been controversial and divisive. Policies at the state level were imposed rapidly on this particular local community, and were later applied across the state. Our findings support the emerging consensus that to be sustainable, urban planning needs to: facilitate local ownership of adaptation responses; build collective action within local communities and between local communities and different arms and levels of government; and be fair in its application across space and over time. Addressing these social, dimensions of adaptation takes time, but they are a sine qua non of sustainable adaptation to sea-level, rise.

Item ID: 37396
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-6062
Keywords: climate change adaptation; equity; sea-level rise; community engagement
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), East Gippsland Shire Council, Gippsland Coastal Board, Victorian Department of Planning and Community, Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment, Wellington Shire Council
Projects and Grants: ARC Linkage Project Scheme (LP100100586)
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2015 03:08
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1604 Human Geography > 160403 Social and Cultural Geography @ 40%
12 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 1205 Urban and Regional Planning > 120504 Land Use and Environmental Planning @ 40%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160804 Rural Sociology @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures @ 100%
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