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Integrated suburban neighbourhood adaptation due to climate change: Local stakeholders' views on potential pathways for change

Smith, Ian; Williams, Katie; Hopkins, Diane; Joynt, Jennifer; Payne, Catherine; Gupta, Rajat


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Ian Smith
Senior Lecturer in Economics

Katie Williams
Professor and Research Centre Director

Diane Hopkins

Jennifer Joynt

Catherine Payne

Rajat Gupta


Purpose: This paper presents new research on the potential pathways for integrated adaptation that could make England's suburbs more resilient to future climate conditions. It focuses on the role of central government, local agencies and householders in making adaptations to the built and natural environment. Design/methodology: This paper uses evidence from three facilitated workshops run with built environment and policy professionals associated with climate change adaptation in three cities in England: Oxford, Bristol and Stockport. The workshop contributions are presented in relation to the potential role that central government, local agencies and residents could play in adapting suburbs. Findings: Central government, local agencies and householders form an interconnected network of agents responsible for adaptive action in suburbs. Professional and institutional stakeholders expect central government to take a lead and ensure planning policies and building regulations support effective adaptation. However, those local authorities and agencies that are expected to offer leadership locally do not have the resources to make adaptation happen on the ground. Overall, the stakeholders in this research believe that effective adaptation in suburbs may only happen once householders and government have experienced worsening climatic conditions. This could be a very costly stance in the long term. Originality/value: This paper provides empirical evidence on how stakeholders engaged in suburban adaptation are making changes now, and on how they envisage change in the future. It reveals clearly the challenges involved in integrating mitigation and adaptation actions and highlight the complexities around implementation on the ground. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


Smith, I., Williams, K., Hopkins, D., Joynt, J., Payne, C., & Gupta, R. (2013). Integrated suburban neighbourhood adaptation due to climate change: Local stakeholders' views on potential pathways for change. Structural Survey, 31(4), 301-313.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 2, 2013
Journal Structural Survey
Print ISSN 0263-080X
Electronic ISSN 1758-6844
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 4
Pages 301-313
Keywords adaptation, built environment, housing, climate change
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