The Dilemmas of Citizen Inclusion in Urban Planning and Governance to Enable a 1.5 °C Climate Change Scenario

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

The Dilemmas of Citizen Inclusion in Urban Planning and Governance to Enable a 1.5 °C Climate Change Scenario


  • Eric Chu School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Todd Schenk School of Public and International Affairs, Virginia Tech, USA
  • James Patterson Faculty of Management, Science and Technology, The Netherlands Open University, The Netherlands / Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands


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Abstract:  Cities around the world are facilitating ambitious and inclusive action on climate change by adopting participatory and collaborative planning approaches. However, given the major political, spatial, and scalar interdependencies involved, the extent to which these planning tools equip cities to realise 1.5 °C climate change scenarios is unclear. This article draws upon emerging knowledge in the fields of urban planning and urban climate governance to explore complementary insights into how cities can pursue ambitious and inclusive climate action to realise 1.5 °C climate change scenarios. We observe that urban planning scholarship is often under-appreciated in urban climate governance research, while conversely, promising urban planning tools and approaches can be limited by the contested realities of urban climate governance. By thematically reviewing diverse examples of urban climate action across the globe, we identify three key categories of planning dilemmas: institutional heterogeneity, scalar mismatch, and equity and justice concerns. We argue that lessons from urban planning and urban climate governance scholarship should be integrated to better understand how cities can realise 1.5 °C climate change scenarios in practice.

Keywords:  climate change; collaboration; inclusion; public participation; urban climate research; urban governance; urban planning

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/up.v3i2.1292


© Eric Chu, Todd Schenk, James Patterson. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.