(February 2012) Interrelationships between climate mitigation and adaptation at the regional planning level in Germany

Interrelationships between climate mitigation and adaptation at the regional planning level in Germany image
 

Climate change and its possible impacts have been topics of intensive discussion in the area of spatial planning for the last two decades, although the primary focus has been on how to prevent climate change through mitigation. Only recently, especially since the publication of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, a growing literature demands to explore the negative and positive interrelationships between climate mitigation and adaptation. But to date, there has been no published literature on methodological approaches and hence empirical research on the interrelationships in the field of spatial planning.

 

My PhD is focusing on these knowledge gaps. I will offer a methodological approach and empirical findings on the topic by analyzing how planners think about potential interrelationships between climate mitigation and adaptation. As practitioners, planners have to deal with mitigation and adaptation measures in their everyday practices. Therefore, they are a suitable platform for the analysis. In detail, I will first develop a methodological framework to evaluate potential interrelationships at the regional planning level in Germany. In a second phase I will test the proposed methodological framework through a practice-based survey.

 

My proposed methodological framework is based on three modules. First I will ask the planners to fill out a prepared cross-impact-matrix with selected mitigation and adaptation measures. This step provides the answer to the question of how regional planners estimate interrelationships between climate mitigation and adaptation. Based on the completed cross-impact-matrix I will create “Impact Maps” which express the “Impact Value” of how planners see the interaction. For the second module I am taking into account that in planning practice the relevance of several measures varies among planners and federal planning systems. To answer the second research question of how do regional planners value the relevance of certain measures, I will use selected weight related components from the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). The outcome will be a “Relevance Map” which expresses the “Relevance Value”. In the third module I will combine the outcomes from the first and second module and create an “Interaction Map” with the “Interaction Value”.

Based on the specific “Interaction Value” for each measure, new planning guidelines can be developed, which incorporate possible interrelationships. The guidelines will present helpful instructions for regional planners to avoid conflicts and encourage synergies by using an integrated strategy.

 

They can serve as a mind opener, make the implementation of measures easier and help to close the knowledge gap. As a last point I will discuss weaknesses and strengths of the proposed methodological framework for analyzing the interrelationships at the regional planning level.

 

At the 6th AESOP YA Communication & Planning Meeting I am going to present first empirical findings from a pre-test to further discuss my methodological framework.

 

 

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Interrelationships between climate mitigation and adaptation at the regional planning level in Germany von Katja Säwert steht unter einer Creative Commons Namensnennung-Nicht-kommerziell-Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen 3.0 Unported Lizenz.