Synergies and Goal Conflicts for Climate Change Policy and Spatial Planning

Baker, Douglas and Marston, Gregory and McClure, Lachlan (2013) Synergies and Goal Conflicts for Climate Change Policy and Spatial Planning. PLANNING TIMES – You better Keep Planning or You get in Deep Water, for the Cities they are A-Changin'. Proceedings of 18th International Conference on Urban Planning, Regional Development and Information Society. pp. 871-877. ISSN 2521-3938

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The purpose of this paper is to identify goal conflicts – both actual and potential – between climate and social policies in government strategies in response to the growing significance of climate change as a socioecological issue (IPCC 2007). Both social and climate policies are political responses to long-term societal trends related to capitalist development, industrialisation, and urbanisation (Koch, 2012). Both modify these processes through regulation, fiscal transfers and other measures, thereby affecting conditions for the other. This means that there are fields of tensions and synergies between social policy and climate change policy. Exploring these tensions and synergies is an increasingly important task for navigating genuinely sustainable development. Gough et al (2008) highlight three potential synergies between social and climate change policies: First, income redistribution – a traditional concern of social policy – can facilitate use of and enhance efficiency of carbon pricing. A second area of synergy is housing, transport, urban policies and community development, which all have potential to crucially contribute towards reducing carbon emissions. Finally, climate change mitigation will require substantial and rapid shifts in producer and consumer behaviour. Land use planning policy is a critical bridge between climate change and social policy that provides a means to explore the tensions and synergies that are evolving within this context. This paper will focus on spatial planning as an opportunity to develop strategies to adapt to climate change, and reviews the challenges of such change. Land use and spatial planning involve the allocation of land and the design and control of spatial patterns. Spatial planning is identified as being one of the most effective means of adapting settlements in response to climate change (Hurlimann and March, 2012). It provides the instrumental framework for adaptation (Meyer, et al., 2010) and operates as both a mechanism to achieve adaptation and a forum to negotiate priorities surrounding adaptation (Davoudi, et al., 2009). The acknowledged role of spatial planning in adaptation however has not translated into comparably significant consideration in planning literature (Davoudi, et al., 2009; Hurlimann and March, 2012). The discourse on adaptation specifically through spatial planning is described as ‘missing’ and ‘subordinate’ in national adaptation plans (Greiving and Fleischhauer, 2012),‘underrepresented’ (Roggema, et al., 2012) and ‘limited and disparate’ in planning literature (Davoudi, et al., 2009). Hurlimann and March (2012) suggest this may be due to limited experiences of adaptation in developed nations while Roggema et al. (2012) and Crane and Landis (2010) suggest it is because climate change is a wicked problem involving an unfamiliar problem, various frames of understanding and uncertain solutions. The potential for goal conflicts within this policy forum seem to outweigh the synergies. Yet, spatial planning will be a critical policy tool in the future to both protect and adapt communities to climate change.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: goal conflicts spatial planning climate change
Subjects: J Political Science > J General legislative and executive papers
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Depositing User: The CORP Team
Date Deposited: 02 May 2019 14:38
Last Modified: 02 May 2019 14:38

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