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Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1408; doi:10.3390/su9081408

Making Space for Proactive Adaptation of Rapidly Changing Coasts: A Windows of Opportunity Approach

1
Geography, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Amory Building Rennes Drive, Exeter EX4 4RJ, UK
2
School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow, East Quadrangle, University Avenue, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 July 2017 / Accepted: 1 August 2017 / Published: 9 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Governance for Sustainability)
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Abstract

Coastlines are very often places where the impacts of global change are felt most keenly, and they are also often sites of high values and intense use for industry, human habitation, nature conservation and recreation. In many countries, coastlines are a key contested territory for planning for climate change, and also locations where development and conservation conflicts play out. As a “test bed” for climate change adaptation, coastal regions provide valuable, but highly diverse experiences and lessons. This paper sets out to explore the lessons of coastal planning and development for the implementation of proactive adaptation, and the possibility to move from adaptation visions to actual adaptation governance and planning. Using qualitative analysis of interviews and workshops, we first examine what the barriers are to proactive adaptation at the coast, and how current policy and practice frames are leading to avoidable lock-ins and other maladaptive decisions that are narrowing our adaptation options. Using examples from UK, we then identify adaptation windows that can be opened, reframed or transformed to set the course for proactive adaptation which links high level top-down legislative requirements with local bottom-up actions. We explore how these windows can be harnessed so that space for proactive adaptation increases and maladaptive decisions are reduced. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change adaptation; maladaptation; decision-making; windows of opportunity; coastal planning climate change adaptation; maladaptation; decision-making; windows of opportunity; coastal planning
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Brown, K.; Naylor, L.A.; Quinn, T. Making Space for Proactive Adaptation of Rapidly Changing Coasts: A Windows of Opportunity Approach. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1408.

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