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Where to begin municipal climate adaptation planning? Evaluating two local choices

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-10-04, 11:19 authored by Ward Lyles, Philip Berke, Kelly Heiman Overstreet

Adapting to the impacts of human-caused climate change is a critical challenge facing cities worldwide. But, local climate adaptation planning is in its infancy. Early on, cities must decide whether to take a narrow-scope approach focused solely on reducing risks from climate impacts or to take a broad-scope approach embedding adaptation planning within wider ranging community concerns. They also must decide whether or not to formally involve their planning agency in adaptation planning. We used content analysis methods to assess a national sample of United States municipal plans. We find that cities with plans with a narrow-scope approach, focused on reducing risks, perform better in terms of plan integration and including more land use policies that can steer development out of hazardous areas. Formal involvement of planning agencies in adaptation planning processes is associated with more plan integration, but not necessarily inclusion of more land use policies.


University of Kansas: General Research Fund 2015–2106.