Adapting to Climate Change: Getting More from Spatial Planning

Jeremy Carter, Graeme Sherriff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Given the severity of future climate change projections and associated risks to human and natural systems, societies are now faced with a strong imperative to develop adaptation policies and actions in response. Spatial planning, which is the process through which the development and use of land is visualised, negotiated and regulated, has an important role to play in adapting to the changing climate. Despite positive steps forward in some locations, there remains a gap between spatial planning’s potential capacity to support the achievement of adaptation goals and the realisation of this role in practice. This paper reports on the findings of an online Delphi survey undertaken to build understanding of the relationship between spatial planning and climate change adaptation. The survey secured the input of over 70 academics, planners and policy makers working across these fields in 10 different countries. Its results offer insights on barriers inhibiting spatial planning’s contribution to adaptation, which range from overarching systemic issues through to those concerning the detailed workings of the planning system. The Delphi survey also identified solutions that could help build the capacity of spatial planning to progress the adaptation agenda. Approaches include enhancing the adaptation knowledge, skills and technical capacity of planners and applying different concepts and methods to align spatial planning more closely with adaptation goals. In presenting and analysing the results of the Delphi survey, the aim of this paper is to help build the capacity of policy makers, practitioners and researchers to adapt spaces and places for the changing climate.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInnovation in Climate Change Adaptation
EditorsWalter Filho
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-25814-0
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-25812-6
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016

Publication series

NameClimate Change Management


  • Climate change adaptation
  • spatial planning
  • urban areas


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