Linking mitigation and adaptation in local climate change planning : the opportunity facing Somerville, Massachusetts
Author(s)Goldwasser, Mia R. (Mia Rebecca)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
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As climate change impacts are beginning to be felt and scientists project unavoidable levels of future change-cities are beginning to adapt. Simultaneously, they are expanding their commitment to mitigate carbon emissions, knowing that unless emissions are reduced significantly it may not be possible to continue adapting to future impacts. With increasingly constrained resources, cities are seemingly pushed in two different directions. In this report, I argue that instead of pursuing mitigation and adaptation as independent planning processes, cities should better integrate these goals in order to achieve important political, community, and sustainability impacts. I consider the challenge of integrated climate change planning in the case of Somerville, Massachusetts, where city planners intend to link mitigation and adaptation in developing the city's first climate change plan. In doing so, I argue that Somerville can advance a more transformative approach to climate action that engages wider community interests, increases the urgency of mitigation, strengthens the link between climate policy, social equity, and sustainable development, and gains political support for actions that achieve multiple co-benefits. Through interviews with North American planners, domestic and international climate policy experts, decision-makers within the City of Somerville, and local community organizations, I identify distinct approaches for acting on mitigation and adaptation integration. I then propose recommendations for how Somerville can pursue a not only integrated but transformative approach to its climate change planning.
Thesis: M.C.P., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, 2015.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 36-40).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.