Reframing rural planning

Multilevel governance to address climate change

Authored by: George C. Homsy , Mildred E. Warner

The Routledge Companion to Rural Planning

Print publication date:  January  2019
Online publication date:  January  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138104051
eBook ISBN: 9781315102375
Adobe ISBN:


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While there is now an established literature examining climate change governance and low carbon transitions at an urban scale, the rural literature is less developed. This chapter will examine the challenges to rural planning that climate change represents. Rural planning requires local government leadership as well as collaboration across agencies and across communities to address climate change. This multisector and multilevel approach is the future of rural planning. We use US data on rural communities and climate change planning as well as case examples to illustrate our theory of multilevel governance. We also argue for rural planning to reframe climate change – currently perceived as involving short-term costs while the benefits are diffuse and often distant in time and place – towards emphasising local gains linked, for example, to economic development. Then we offer a set of short case studies to examine the ways local leaders have reframed issues and engaged in both horizontal and vertical collaborations.

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