Urban Responses to Climate Change : Framework for Decision making and Supporting Indicators

Urban Responses to Climate Change : Framework for Decisionmaking and Supporting Indicators / Debra Knopman, Robert J. Lempert. Rand Corporation, 2016, 156 p. – ISBN: 978-0-8330-9659-3

Ebook for free : http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1144.html

Developing indicators for successful urban responses to climate change has proven particularly challenging. Climate change is intertwined with a wide range of activities in urban areas. Today’s actions may have important longer-term consequences, and significant uncertainty clouds our understanding of both the scale of future impacts and the effectiveness of many responses. Successful strategies will likely include both “low-hanging fruit” and fundamental, transformative change. This study proposes a decisionmaking framework and supporting indicators for urban responses to climate change based on risk governance — an extension of the established practices of risk assessment and management that include considerations of institutions and their economic and social context. Urban areas commonly contend with multiple and overlapping jurisdictions, conflicting social objectives, and deep uncertainty about the future. For these reasons, risk governance is well-suited for characterizing how urban areas make investment and policy decisions of major consequence. The proposed indicators are divided into two categories: those relating to the current and future state of the urban region and those related to the quality of the plan and the process that produced it. The authors identified existing systems of indicators, organized them in their framework, and developed an example of what these indicators might look like in actual practice. The framework also distinguishes among three categories of actions, called tiers of transformation. These tiers reflect an increasing challenge for implementation but also an increasing benefit of transformational change.


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