Planning Support Systems for Long-Term Climate Resilience: A Critical Review

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review


As climate change is becoming a reality, there is an increasing demand to improve urban resilience. Planning Support Systems (PSS) enable climate-informed planning. However, previous research confirms difficulties in the uptake of PSS due to their resource-intensive nature and lack of awareness of their usefulness. This chapter aims to make a headway in understanding research priorities and gaps that need to be addressed for PSS to address climate resilience in the long run. To this end, we review the emerging body of knowledge in academia and practice, by conducting a text-mining analysis of academic (n = 36,405) and non-academic (practice) (n = 86) literature on urban planning and climate resilience. We extract trends in climate pressures, infrastructure drivers, and planning approaches. A key finding from the academic literature is that long-term planning continues to be limited to a few fixed scenarios and places a strong focus on single sector strategies. Practice documents continue to be designed to inform high-level policies, but not spatial plans that require integrated thinking. Our analysis concludes with a research agenda for improving PSS to (1) identify and integrate the full range of variables in the long-term; (2) support selection of appropriate planning responses across multiple infrastructure systems; and (3) improve flexibility in planning by a deeper understanding of temporal aspects such as planning timeframes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUrban Informatics and Future Cities
EditorsS.C.M. Geertman, Christopher Pettit, Robert Goodspeed, Aija Staffans
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages498
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-76059-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-76058-8
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameThe Urban Book Series
ISSN (Print)2365-757X
ISSN (Electronic)2365-7588


  • Urban resilience
  • Planning Support Systems
  • Uncertainty
  • Literature review
  • Climate Adaptation
  • machine learning
  • topic modeling
  • knowledge systems


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