Dutch and Australian planning regimes: are they ready to face extreme climate impacts?

Rob Roggema

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    In this study, Dutch and Australian planning regimes are examined to determine whether they are ready to face climate extremes. Five different “cultural” facets of spatial planning determine the differences between the two regimes. These planning characteristics are first confronted with current climate change. The Dutch planning regime performs better under these conditions than the Australian. Secondly, a suite of spatial scenarios is confronted with both current change and a changed risk landscape, in which climate extremes are introduced. Again, the performance of planning characteristics to deal with these new vulnerabilities is tested. For type-1 impacts, exaggerating current change, a limited number of Dutch planning characteristics still hold, where the majority of Australian planning properties is likely to lose functionality. Under type-2 impacts, surprising climate events, the Dutch approach is no longer sufficient, while some Australian characteristics suddenly imply opportunities. The sectored planning approach, together with culturally determined individual responses, might prove to offer solace, under the condition that dealing with extreme events is made priority. Overall, current regimes face difficulties in dealing with surprising climate events and a fundamentally different planning approach is required. Swarm Planning, which dynamically deals with uncertainty, is proposed as a beneficial new planning method.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2067-2093
    JournalEuropean Planning Studies
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014


    • urban planning
    • climate change
    • environment
    • netherlands
    • australia


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