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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Planners and planning for climate change : an examination of sea level rise issues for coastal settlements Moore, Janet Linda


This thesis focuses on the planning problems of anticipated increases in average global seas levels for coastal and island communities throughout the world. The combination of global warming repercussions, increasing population growth, and the evolution of megacities are discussed in the context of sustainable development in communities affected by rising sea levels. Inherent in these discussions are the related planning, political, and economic issues of equity and security of local, national, and international dimensions. Several country profiles are included from both the developed and less-developed nations to illustrate the similarities and differences among in their challenges and opportunities to deal effectively with global climate change. It is argued that planners should act as "enablers", and that planning as a function of society has a specific responsibility to educate and prepare "the public" for global climate changes and sea level rise. The role of planning is discussed in the context of uncertainty in risk assessment, gaps in knowledge, constraints to planning, decision-making strategies, and coastal zone management in general. An overview of global, national, and local trends and preliminary actions taken to date are presented. It is argued that transitional measures and better decision-making strategies are required in planning, government policy development, future research, and education in order that all societies may move, more equitably, toward creating a sustainable future.

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