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Are municipal land use plans keeping pace with global climate change?

Stevens, Mark R., Senbel, Maged
Land use policy 2017 v.68 pp. 1-14
climate, climate change, inventories, land use planning, politics, risk, British Columbia
Published research on municipal climate change plans to date has been strictly cross-sectional: it reveals the status of plans at particular points in time, but does not examine whether and how plans are evolving over time to keep pace with our understanding of climate change. We build on a 2011 study of plans in the Canadian province of British Columbia by examining updated versions of those plans as of 2015. We find that the climate change content in the plans did not change much from 2011-2015 and that there is much room for improvement. Our findings suggest that municipalities can possibly strengthen their plans by: (1) investing resources into creating and maintaining a detailed inventory of factual information regarding local climate risk and vulnerability, and (2) fostering political support among elected officials and residents for developing climate change planning goals and implementation mechanisms to help achieve the goals.