Engaging with communities for climate change adaptation: introducing Community Development for Adaptation

Author: Stephenson, Janet; Barth, Jule; Bond, Sophie; Diprose, Gradon; Orchiston, Caroline; Simon, Katy; Thomas, Amanda

Date: 2019

Publisher: NZ Planning Institute

Type: Conference item

Link to this item using this URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10523/9655

University of Otago


In the years to come, many of New Zealand’s urban settlements are likely to be impacted by climate-induced hazards such as sea level rise, coastal erosion, flooding and rising groundwater levels, and some are already being affected. These communities face many physical, social, financial and emotional challenges, and there is significant potential for inequitable outcomes. To ensure successful adaptation, local authorities will need to adopt new approaches to engaging with communities that are exposed to these hazards. The Climate-Adaptive Communities research team, part of the Deep South National Science Challenge, undertook research on how council staff and communities are responding to the challenges of planning for a climate-impacted future. The research paid particular attention to how staff see their changing roles and responsibilities for adaptation-related community engagement, and how communities are responding to actual or anticipated impacts. We first discuss our findings on why councils should engage early, and how this kind of engagement will necessarily differ from typical council consultative processes. We then outline why councils are currently nervous or tentative about engagement on adaptation. We finish with introducing what we are calling ‘community development for adaptation’ (CD4A) which we suggest will be an important complement to dynamic adaptive pathways planning, and can assist councils and communities to collaboratively negotiate the complex journey of adaptation.

Subjects: climate change, adaptation, engagement, community

Citation: ["Stephenson, J., Barth, J., Bond, S., Diprose, G., Orchiston, C., Simon, K., & Thomas, A. (2019). Engaging with communities for climate change adaptation: introducing Community Development for Adaptation. In C. Miller & J. Crawford (Eds.), Proceedings of the Rodney Davies Academic Synmposium. Presented at the Rodney Davies Symposium of the New Zealand Planning Institute conference, NZ Planning Institute."]

Copyright: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International