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Title: Integrating climate change considerations in planning for urban development in Sierra Leone : the case of Freetown
Author: Macarthy, Joseph Mustapha
ISNI:       0000 0004 2730 7264
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2012
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Much of the climate change literature is replete with discussions about the potential impact of climate change on cities. Whilst urban planners are increasingly being urged to develop robust and clear strategies for dealing with the impacts, in reality there is very little knowledge about the way the local context shapes whether, and how, planners and households are able to address the challenges posed. Moreover, since much of the literature on the response to climate change impacts has focused mainly on national level actions, there is very little knowledge about how such actions should be carried out in particular cities. Although local levels are now increasingly being recognised as plausible action points, the way in which institutional structures work to either shape vulnerability, or to constrain households and urban planning responses, has been largely ignored and the links poorly theorised. This study questions the dominant assumptions about ‘institutional fit’ and argues that the ingenuity of human agency in dealing with climate change can be constrained by the planning structures within which actions take place. The study uses Sierra Leone’s capital – Freetown − to explore this argument by examining the linkages between the country’s urban planning system, the structures of governance, and the system for climate change response and adaptation management. Using a multi-disciplinary approach that has been developed on both theoretical and empirical grounds, the research examines the important challenges that must be addressed in order for urban planning processes to effectively address climate change response and adaptation issues. The research uses a variety of data collection techniques (quantitative and qualitative) to investigate the constraints placed on actors at different levels in shaping the city’s development process and how this will be affected by climate change. The thesis proposes a framework to offer insights into some of the more practical considerations and approaches behind making climate change an integral part of urban planning. However, the inclusion of climate change considerations in urban planning decisions raises questions about what kinds of adjustments ought to be made to the current planning system. The thesis concludes that whilst institutions do not guarantee what actually happens in practice, they are critical for urban planning responses since the integration of climate change concerns into policy and practice is largely dependent on national and local level institutions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available