Together we are Stronger – Examining Thematic and Procedural Entry Points for Multidisciplinary, Integral Spatial Planning Approaches to Confront Climate Change

Jiricka-Pürrer, Alexandra and Weichselbaumer, Roswitha and Juschten, Maria and Reinwald, Florian (2021) Together we are Stronger – Examining Thematic and Procedural Entry Points for Multidisciplinary, Integral Spatial Planning Approaches to Confront Climate Change. CITIES 20.50 – Creating Habitats for the 3rd Millennium: Smart – Sustainable – Climate Neutral. Proceedings of REAL CORP 2021, 26th International Conference on Urban Development, Regional Planning and Information Society. pp. 943-955. ISSN 2521-3938

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Due to climate change, meteorological phenomena can occur with changing frequency and intensity. As a result of these changes, different thematic challenges arise, depending on the geographical location, topographical and climatic conditions, as well as other influencing factors such as land use. Spatial planning can contribute significantly to the prevention or mitigation of climate change-related risks through the creation of visions and integration of objectives, as well as through spatial research and the support of planning decisions (e.g. Hurlimann and March 2012). Urban and in particular metropolitan areas and their surrounding sub-urban structures are particularly prone to climate change impacts, such as increasing and longer-lasting heat waves due to its high share of impervious surfaces (Morabito et al., 2021). Consequently, they need to urgently consider resource scarcity (e.g. related to droughts) and complex planning decisions caused by multiple land use changes and diverse pressures accumulating with intensifying climate change impacts. Among others, Matthews (2012) addresses the key role of metropolitan areas in coping with climate change as a “transformative stressor”. Besides these challenges, several authors highlight the multiple co-benefits (e.g. for health, recreation and/or nature conservation) that can result from a precautionary and proactive approach to climate change adaptation in urban and sub-urban areas (Floater et al. 2016; Raymond et al. 2017). Similarly, Biesbroek et al. (2009) already discussed the potential to combine adaptation and mitigation efforts to create joint benefits in planning. To achieve these aims in adapting to climate change and creating positive synergies, horizontal cooperation across planning borders is often required. Such an approach allows for an early consideration of planning alternatives and enables planners to specifically and appropriately implement further climate proofing measures, all of which are considered essential steps in the climate proofing of spatial plans and programmes (Hurlimann and March 2012). To consider climate change along horizontal planning boundaries in an integrative manner, it can be highly relevant to consider information and planning objectives from adjacent or complementary sectoral instruments, as Matthews and Baker (2021) point out. Similarly, Widmer (2018) highlights the importance of addressing the „cross-cutting nature of adaptation” within integral planning processes. This paper, based on a large case-study in the eastern part of Austria, funded by the “Planungsgemeinschaft Ost – PGO” (Planning Association East) and involving three different federal states – each with its own legal system – discusses specific entry points and barriers that need to be overcome in order to foster an integrative, multidisciplinary consideration of climate change in and around cities including also large metropolitan areas. Based on a theoretical framework (Jiricka-Pürrer et al. 2020), which helps to approach the complex challenges of climate proofing in an integrative way across planning borders, the authors undertook a systematic review of the thematic and procedural entry points for cooperation across planning units. Nineteen expert interviews were carried out with spatial planning units, as well as departments of forestry, geology and water management across the three Federal states of Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland. They review, among other aspects, the cross-institutional communication and coordination of targets, as well as data-related challenges and measures for climate change adaptation. Additionally, opportunities to increase co-benefits for climate change mitigation, public health and nature conservation are discussed, particularly in the light of procedural entry points. The complex challenges of this case study area in Eastern Austria showcase the variety of options for integral planning and cooperation at various planning levels (federal, regional to local) and the need for multidisciplinary perspectives.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: cross-sector cooperation, cross-border cooperation, climate change adaptation, climate proofing, integral planning
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2021 20:28
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2021 17:49

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