Policy design, spatial planning and climate change adaptation: a case study from Australia

Andrew Macintosh, Anita Foerster, Jan McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


There are gaps in the existing climate change adaptation literature concerning the design of spatial planning instruments and the relationship between policy instruments and the sociopolitical barriers to adaptation reform. To help address this gap, this article presents a typology of spatial planning instruments for adaptation and analyses the pattern of instrument choice in Australian planning processes in order to shed light on contextual factors that can impede adaptation. The analysis highlights how policy design can amplify the barriers to adaptation by arranging policy actors in ways inimical to reform and stripping decision makers of the instruments necessary to make and sustain desired policy changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1432-1453
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • barriers to adaptation
  • climate change adaptation
  • policy design
  • spatial planning

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