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Urban Studies and Planning Commons

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University of Massachusetts Amherst

Selected Works

Climate Adaptation

Articles 1 - 6 of 6

Full-Text Articles in Urban Studies and Planning

By Stealth Or By Spotlight: Matching Barriers To Adaptation Approaches, Elisabeth Hamin Sep 2012

By Stealth Or By Spotlight: Matching Barriers To Adaptation Approaches, Elisabeth Hamin

Elisabeth M. Hamin

The goal of this research is testing existing frameworks that theorize the barriers to uptake of climate change adaptation (CCA) in municipal governments, and then connecting those barriers to alternative approaches to achieving adaptation within municipal organizations. The alternative approaches are argued to include full-on adaptation planning, a more technically-oriented mainstreaming approach, and a ‘stealth’ approach wherein policies with co-benefits are highlighted without much discussion of climate per se. We interviewed planners in 15 coastal communities in Massachusetts, U.S.A., to inquire into local efforts toward CCA and what they viewed as required to move forward locally. The case ...


Space For Adapting: Reconciling Adaptation And Mitigation In Local Climate Change Plans, Elisabeth Hamin, Nicole Gurran May 2012

Space For Adapting: Reconciling Adaptation And Mitigation In Local Climate Change Plans, Elisabeth Hamin, Nicole Gurran

Elisabeth M. Hamin

Amid the complexity of actually planning for adaptation and mitigation in cities, spatial form matters. Denser urban environments generally have lower per capita emissions because they enable transit and more efficient heating. At the same time, a larger green infrastructure can be beneficial to adaptation, as it provides room for urban greening, storm and flood water management, and treatment of other ill-effects of climate change. City plans need to reconcile both goals to be fully climate resilient, but to date, there has not been an empirical evaluation on whether the adaptation policies cities are choosing create conflict with mitigative goals ...


Windows Of Opportunity: Addressing Climate Uncertainty Through Adaptation Plan Implementation, Elisabeth Hamin, Yaser Abunnasr, Elizabeth Brabec Jan 2012

Windows Of Opportunity: Addressing Climate Uncertainty Through Adaptation Plan Implementation, Elisabeth Hamin, Yaser Abunnasr, Elizabeth Brabec

Elisabeth M. Hamin

There is a pressing need for municipalities and regions to undertake adaptation planning that will create urban systems suited to current as well as future climates, but uptake of adaptation has been slow. This is particularly unfortunate in that patterns of urban built form interact with climate change in ways that can reduce, or intensify, the impacts of overall global change. For policy-makers, uncertainty regarding the timing and magnitude of climate change is a significant barrier to implementing adaptation planning. Resiliency theory suggests an approach to evaluating adaptation options for cities that can bring these factors together. The method we ...


The Green Infrastructure Transect: An Organizational Framework For Mainstreaming Adaptation Planning Policies, Yaser Abunnasr, Elisabeth Hamin Jan 2012

The Green Infrastructure Transect: An Organizational Framework For Mainstreaming Adaptation Planning Policies, Yaser Abunnasr, Elisabeth Hamin

Elisabeth M. Hamin

When considering the range of spatial planning actions that cities can take to adapt to climate change, many of them fall under the conceptual umbrella of green infrastructure (GI). GI has been defined as the spatial planning of landscape systems at multiple scales and within varying contexts to provide open space, safeguard natural systems, protect agricultural lands, and ensure ecological integrity for cultural, social, and ecosystem benefits (Benedict andMcMahon, Renew Resour J 20:12–17, 2002, Green infrastructure: linking landscape and communities. Island Press,Washington, DC, 2006; Ahern, Cities of the future. IWA Publishing, London, 2008). While the traditional definition ...


Local Actions, National Frameworks: A Dual-Scale Comparison Of Climate Adaptation Planning On Two Continents, Elisabeth Hamin, Nicole Gurran Jan 2011

Local Actions, National Frameworks: A Dual-Scale Comparison Of Climate Adaptation Planning On Two Continents, Elisabeth Hamin, Nicole Gurran

Elisabeth M. Hamin

This study explores emerging approaches to local climate change adaptation planning in the United States and Australia, and seeks to explain why some local authorities have begun to take action despite weak national and state level directives. We compare strategic documents from 13 local authorities across the two nations, representing the “first generation” of adaptation plans. Our focus is on potential explanations for early engagement in adaptation planning – size, location and risk level of the municipality, the existence of national or state mandates and access to supra local resources or support. We also explore the nature and type of adaptation-planning ...


Urban Form And Climate Change: Balancing Adaptation And Mitigation In The U.S. And Australia, Elisabeth Hamin, Nicole Gurran Jan 2009

Urban Form And Climate Change: Balancing Adaptation And Mitigation In The U.S. And Australia, Elisabeth Hamin, Nicole Gurran

Elisabeth M. Hamin

The science of climate change is now well established. Predicted weather-related events like sea level rise, increased storm events, and extreme heat waves imply an urgent need for new approaches to settlement design to enable human and non-human species to adapt to these increased risks. A wide variety of policy responses are emerging at local and regional levels – from sustainable urban form, to alternative energy production and new approaches to biodiversity conservation. However, little attempt has been made to ensure that strategies to adapt to the inevitable impacts of enhanced climate change (such as additional open space to enable water ...