Spatial planning for climate change adaptation: identifying cross cutting barriers and solutions. Centre for Urban and Regional Ecology, The University of Manchester.


Jeremy Carter and Graeme Sherriff


There are many elements to the process of adapting to a changing climate. Due to its role in regulating the development and use of land, spatial planning can make a particularly significant contribution. Amongst other things, it provides a forum for involving different stakeholder groups, a nexus for planning key infrastructures (such as transport and energy networks) and the space to develop long term strategies. Each of these is important to the development of effective adaptation responses.

A two-stage Delphi survey was carried out with the aim of gaining a broader understanding of the relationship between spatial planning and climate change adaptation. The Delphi technique involved a wide range of stakeholders from 10 different countries in an online survey. The aim of the survey was to:

  • Explore the current role of spatial planning in adaptation.
  • Identify the barriers inhibiting spatial planning in bringing about effective adaptation.
  • Distil a set of guiding principles for policy, practice and research.

This report presents and analyses the findings of the Delphi survey, and in doing so aims to help build the knowledge base supporting the role of spatial planning in climate change adaptation.