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National Climate Change Adaptation Strategies of European States from a Spatial Planning and Development Perspective

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The aim of this article is to give an overview and systematic characterization of different national approaches to developing strategies of climate change adaptation from a spatial planning or regional development perspective, respectively. Based on this analysis, recommendations are made for the implementation of the Territorial Agenda of the European Union. The central research hypotheses addressed in this article are: (1) climate change impacts in Europe are distributed differently in European regions which influence the design of national adaptation strategies (NASs) in Europe as well as the planning-related fields of action; (2) the legal framework and the political-administrative system significantly determine how national adaptation responses are designed and by which institutions they are implemented and (3) spatial planning has the potential to play an important role in climate change adaptation due to its integrative, cross-sectoral character. In order to discuss the hypotheses, a meta-evaluation of already existing assessments of climate adaptation strategies was carried out, as well as nine in-depth country studies (Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Spain, The Netherlands and the UK). The results show that spatial planning is only given minor attention in the assessed analyses and national strategies and that it is rather a matter of political willingness and capacity building than particular instruments or a high climate change vulnerability if spatial planning, however, plays an important role in an NAS.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Spatial Planning, TU Dortmund, Dortmund, Germany

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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