Department of Civil Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento (Italy)
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HOW ARE CLIMATE CHANGE CONCERNS ADDRESSED BY SPATIAL PLANS?
An evaluation framework, and an application to Indian cities
Addressing climate change issues require different response actions at various spatial scales. However, the incorporation of climate change issues in the form of agreement, framework and climate policies has tended to focus on international and national scale but lacking at local level. The spatial policies at local level, although not directly linked to climate change, if implemented effectively may become a viable policy instrument to mitigate and adapt to climate change issues. Policy makers at the local level have not explored these local policy options widely. Drawing from the case study in India, this paper aims at understanding how spatial plans in India are incorporating climate change issues and identifying potential gaps. Spatial plans across various cities in India were examined. The skeleton of the review framework is developed upon Moser and Loers (2008) work. To analyze these spatial plans 40 criteria were identified and divided into three components namely awareness, analysis and action. The results of this study show that the roles of spatial plan to integrate climate change issues at the city level in India are still limited. The overall performance of spatial plans shows that they have a low level of awareness, moderate level of analytical capability and limited action response to integrate climate change issues at local level. The result of the study identifies that spatial policies in various cities in India are still limited to physical and economic issues and undermine the issues of climate change. The majority of the sampled spatial plan failed to integrate climate change issues at various fronts of spatial policy process and required to recognize climate change as a critical issue among other issues. Finally the finding of this study creates a platform for discussion and decision making process on the potential aspects where climate change issues can become part of spatial planning policy.