Planning for Climate Change

PRESENTED BY: Sarah McCarter & Marje Russ

UN-Habitat recommends a strategic, values-based approach to planning for climate change. This includes a 'flexible and non-linear' approach to address issues with multiple impacts, so that plans are agile enough to respond to unexpected challenges as they arise. The approach puts people at the centre of climate change and natural hazard risk planning and adaptation.

Implementation of this values-based approach can be constrained by a number of aspects including formal legislative frameworks, linear planning processes, project timeframes and resourcing. In addition, engagement on technically complex matters such as climate change and natural hazard risk can be challenging. Communication of uncertainty and what this means for individuals and communities requires a robust and consistent commitment to inclusive engagement over time.

As a forward-looking and innovative profession, planning is uniquely positioned to navigate these challenges. However, these challenges also pose significant questions for planning practitioners; what do we already know, how do we allow for new technologies and different ways of thinking within our planning framework, how can we be nimble and responsive while working within the constraints imposed by the more formal decision-making framework? How does this align with the proposed new outcomes approach in the NBEA? Additionally, what new skills and language do we need to drive better outcomes for our environment and communities over the long term?

Drawing on lessons learnt from engagement on climate change, natural hazards and on large infrastructure projects in Aotearoa and the Pacific Islands, this presentation examines existing tools and their effective application to a wide range of problematic issues