Seven Principles of Strong Climate Change Planning

Sara Meerow, Sierra C. Woodruff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


As greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts increase worldwide, there is an urgent need for communities, and thus urban planners, to simultaneously mitigate and adapt to climate change. We synthesize recent research to examine whether the field of planning is adequately addressing climate change. We conclude that although there has been progress in recent years, it is insufficient given the scope of the climate change challenge and the myriad ways climate impacts negatively affect communities. We argue for seven principles of strong climate change planning: 1) clear goals; 2) strong fact base; 3) diverse strategies; 4) public participation; 5) coordination across actors, sectors, and plans; 6) processes for implementation and monitoring; and 7) techniques to address uncertainty. For each of these principles we discuss the current state of research and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-46
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Planning Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020


  • adaptation
  • climate change
  • mitigation
  • planning
  • resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Urban Studies


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