Bouncing Forward: Long-Term Urban Planning Under Climate Uncertainty

Research output: Working paper/PreprintPreprintScientific


Climate change is the main driver of uncertainty for long-term urban planning. Urban resilience frameworks acknowledge this uncertainty but propose interventions in individual urban systems for a single future. Approaches to managing uncertainty discuss planning for multiple futures., but systematically applying this has not gained traction in planning theory. Moreover, most academic literature on planning originates from the Global North that benefits from robust planning structures instead of emerging regions of the Global South investing heavily in future urbanization patterns. This study makes headway towards a generalizable theory on long-term urban planning under climate change. We argue that long-term planning can benefit from cross-fertilization between urban resilience and uncertainty theories. We use a two-step qualitative research approach to (1) propose a conceptual framework connecting urban resilience frameworks and approaches to planning under uncertainty;(2) Use the framework to analyze contrasting case studies in the Global North (Amsterdam) and Global South (Mumbai). The multi-case theory-building approach helps build a solid empirical foundation of the requirements and constraints in formulating climate-related planning responses. We conclude with four propositions towards a theory on long-term urban planning under climate uncertainty.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusSubmitted - 7 Mar 2022

Publication series

ISSN (Print)0264-2751


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