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Recommendation No.3

Image of floods, umbrellas and project workshop Supporting case studies
Supporting guidance
Supporting tools
Example plans and policies

Combine change and risk management approaches for integrating adaptation into spatial planning:

  • Managing Change - processes for establishing the right governance and management for instigating and sustaining action.
  • Risk Management- processes for integrating climate risks into policy-making and identify appropriate adaptation measures.

These two complementary approaches must work together to ensure that adaptation is firmly embedded into spatial planning.

Change management

Spatial planning requires strategic change management both internally, within organisations developing and influencing spatial planning, and externally, with the people their plans will affect. Change management needs a balance of awareness, agency and association, to ensure long-lasting action. People are more likely to move from 'action' to 'awareness' than the other way around so it is useful to engage with people on climate change through actions they are already undertaking.

  • 'Awareness' is needed of the risks and opportunities posed by climate change, the impacts it will have, and of what action is required to address them. However awareness alone will not bring about the necessary changes.
  • 'Agency' is the sense that actions on climate change are meaningful to those undertaking them.
  • 'Association', through groups and networks, encourages people to act on climate change issues.
  • 'Action and reflection' processes are needed to help address the key barriers that arise in integrating climate adaptation into spatial planning systems.

Risk management

Embed climate risk management into the processes, procedures and guidelines that are currently used in spatial planning, especially Strategic Environmental Assessments and Sustainability Appraisals, using the following risk management process:

  • Identify the objectives of the spatial plan.
  • Assess current and future climate risks to achieving these objectives.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of adaptation policies and measures to manage risks to acceptable levels.
  • Decide on which adaptation policies and measures to adopt in the spatial plan.
  • Communicate to stakeholders the consequences of adaptation policies and measures and explain the consequences, including costs, of failing to act.


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