Planning, Law, Property Rights, and Hazards in a Climate Changing World: A Cross-National Contemplation
Ongoing climate change is also changing weather patterns globally, regionally, and locally. Those changing climate and weather dynamics are resulting in turn—simultaneously and somewhat ironically—in both increased drought and increased precipitation. Increased drought and precipitation are yielding in turn again increasingly frequent and intense firestorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, cyclones, and other extreme thunder, rain, and wind events. All of those changes are increasing the exposure of landscapes and people to increased risk, heightening the hazards they confront given the way landscapes have developed in the past, and given widespread expectations about how they ought to continue developing into the future.
We propose to convene a panel discussion consisting of between 3 to 5 speakers drawn from different countries and continents who can speak to these questions briefly (e.g., about 10 minutes each) and then engage a moderated discussion about what we are learning and where we are headed. The panel will cover a broad array of locations, hazards, and ideas represented for the session.
Barriers to adaptation to the impacts of climate change in Ireland
University College Dublin, Ireland
We are working on a study in Ireland, BE-Resilient, which is investigating the capacity for climate change adaptation in the built environment. Through information-gathering from elected members of Local Authorities; public sector planners; architects; and engineers, we are gaining insight into their knowledge-bases and activities as they pertain to resilience building in the built environment.
From a mitigation perspective, as we attempt to drastically cut carbon emissions, Ireland’s current building standards pertaining to energy and ventilation are self-described as ‘minimum’ standards. There are few incentives to exceed these standards, building certification is fully privatised, and building control may be under-resourced.
From an adaptation perspective, over 50% of our population resides on the coast, the majority in urban landscapes. All of Ireland’s major cities are situated on estuaries. Pluvial and fluvial flooding events that were once ‘one in a hundred year’ events are now increasingly common, as coastal storm surges increase in frequency and intensity. Significant tracts of Ireland’s cities are vulnerable to rising sea levels.
The key entry point for policy formation for climate adaptation in Ireland, the sectoral level, has not been achieved for the built environment sector. There are sectoral adaptation plans for overlapping and inter-reliant sectors (including flood risk management; built and archaeological heritage; water services infrastructure; transport; electricity and gas networks), but there is no statutory requirement for a sectoral plan which covers the ‘buildings’ elements of the built environment – the defining elements of the built environment where individuals live and work – housing and commercial property. Possible regulatory capture may be raising ‘soft’ barriers to changes in statutory building regulations and certification procedures, and institutional ‘lock-ins’ may contribute to resistance to change in planning policy and practice.
Returning from the edge of value
University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
Coastal communities are some of those most at risk from hazardous weather and natural events arising from climate change. This presentation will explore the potential for land and marine value capture to shape development and fund infrastructure provision to enhance the resilience of at-risk coastal communities.
Small Island Developing States have a high concentration of population and socioeconomic infrastructure within low-lying areas of the island. Within the coastal zones are a narrowly defined concentration of economic sectors - tourism, sea & air transport ports, major arterial roads, agriculture and fisheries, comprising approximately 90% of economic activities and employment. As such, coastal economies and communities are vulnerable to sea-level rise, extreme weather events and chronic land loss. Some of the settings in greatest jeopardy are island nations, particularly in the Caribbean where recent hurricanes (e.g. Harvey, Irma, Maria) have caused considerable economic losses arising from the damage sustained to the coast. For example, the impacts of Hurricane Maria on Dominica across its housing, agriculture, tourism, transport and education sectors totalled approximately 224% of 2016 GDP.
This presentation will explore the potential of land value capture to shape land use choices and fund infrastructure to enhance the resilience of at-risk coastal communities. It will consider the spatial implications of climate change and potential land value capture policies on a typical Small Island Developing State and consider whether there may be lessons beyond these states for understanding land, property rights and climate change.
BALANCING THE INTERACTION BETWEEN URBAN REGENERATION AND FLOOD RISK MANAGEMENT – A COST BENEFIT APPROACH IN ÚSTÍ NAD LABEM
1Institute for Environmental Sciences and Geography, University of Potsdam, Potsdam-Golm, Germany; 2Department of Geography, Faculty of Science, J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem, Czechia; 3Institute for economic and environmental Policy, Faculty of Social and Economic Studies, J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem, Czechia
Urban areas are hot spots of flood risk due to how urban development concentrates people and assets into hazard prone areas, reinforcing negative externalities on the welfare of urban residents. Mitigating flood risk in urban environments, however, is challenging. This is not only because the process generating flood risk is complex, but the objectives of city planners, residents and/or develops are also multi-faceted and prioritized. Therefore, there are various trade-offs to be considered. One such problem across many areas of Europe and beyond is how to regenerate urban areas, to improve the welfare, prosperity, and image of the city. However, in turn many areas within these cities will see this activity being traded-off against increased flood risk. Cost-benefit analysis represents a useful tool for assessment of this trade-off. In this paper we present an initial cost-benefit analysis of a potential urban regeneration project within the city of Ústí nad Labem that seeks to highlight the potential magnitude of such trade-offs that need to be more often actively considered as a core, rather than peripheral, element of urban regeneration and development. We present a simple model framework that can be expanded upon and integrated into wider regeneration visions.
Assessing the incorporation of nature and climate change adaptation in the sustainability narrative of environmental and spatial planning framework laws in the Portuguese context
1GOVCOPP, Department of Social, Political and Country Planning, University of Aveiro, Portugal; 2GOVCOPP, Department of Environment and Planning, University of Aveiro, Portugal
The concepts of blue-green infrastructures and ecosystem services are recognized in the literature as key factors for climate change adaptation. In the European Union context, the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 also stresses this understanding. Frameworks laws related to environmental and spatial planning, among others, are key tools to foster the institutionalization of these matters at national and local level contexts as they serve as umbrellas to trickle down those concerns into lowers levels of legislation and decision-making. This article undertakes a critical analysis of the current Portuguese Environmental Policy and of Spatial, Soil and Urbanization Planning Policy Framework Laws, both enacted in 2014. It uses a content analysis to study how the sustainability narrative is built and related to the concepts of biodiversity, blue-green infrastructures, ecosystem services and climate change. The findings brought to the fore are bewildering. In the environmental framework law, the sustainability narrative is mostly linked to development, green, low carbon economy and market instruments, but scantly related to biodiversity or ecosystem services. In the spatial planning framework law, the sustainability narrative appears scantly and also associated with economic efficiency of spatial development. Climate change concerns are clearly miss considered in both laws, not to speak the role of nature-based solutions for adaptation and problem reduction. While the laws foresee economic instruments are as means to face environmental challenges, including the protection of nature, the nature is far from being conceptualized as a valid instrument. For documents that usually, are adopted to last for a decade ahead, and despite the ideological bias, frequent in this type of documents, the knowledge base and the climate change noticeable events would justify a stronger and more ambitious approach in both framework laws to set nature as a core for decision-making.
IMMOVABLE CULTURAL HERITAGE PROPERTIES AND CLIMATE CHANGE - LEGAL AND STRATEGIC POINTS OF ADAPTATION
Faculty of Law and Bussines studies dr Lazar Vrkatić Novi Sad, Serbia, Union University Belgrade
Nowadays, cultural assets are exposed to wide range of dangers. Natural impacts are important category of threats in the era of climate change. Although generally natural disasters cannot be controlled or avoided, there are certain measures that can reduce the vulnerability of cultural sites.
The conducted study in the EU countries indicates the complexity and topicality of the questions of protecting immovable cultural heritage in terms of climate change, still insufficiently recognized in legal and strategic documents adopted at national, supranational and international levels. The extreme events so far have shown that "cultural aspects" of public policies of adaptation are often inadequate and inappropriate. Hence, the author's aim was to draw the attention promote the importance of safeguarding cultural heritage and their horizontal integration with the areas of environmental protection, spatial planning and risk management issues in emergency situations. This still an under-researched field requires mobilization of different-profiles experts, demanding multidisciplinary research that could be carried out mainly through major, cross-border and international projects and cooperation, as well as learning from good practice examples. In the future, there are plans to work on establishing a modern database on natural hazards and disasters, then on the development of a system for monitoring changes in cultural heritage, as well as of standards for the assessment of the resistance of immovable architectural heritage to various adverse effects. It is particularly important to complete the already-begun process of mapping potential risks and digitisation of data about cultural heritage and potential risks.
Serbia has still not recognised the link between the sector for emergency situations and the need to protect cultural property. In the process of harmonization with EU legislation, Serbia has to take more significant efforts in the area of climate and energy policy with the aim to support sustainable management of immovable cultural assets and adequate protection against frequent natural disasters.