This research node is led by the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney, with support from CSIRO. The focus is on research into how urban and rural communities can best adapt and respond to climate change and into ways in which the government can provide support to local communities to build resilience.
Pathways to transformational adaptation and meta-learning for community climate adaptation
Led by Brent Jacobs and Natasha Kuruppu (Institute for Sustainable Futures) and Tom Measham, Ben Harman and Peter Brown (CSIRO)
This theme comprises two linked sub-themes that aim to explore the pathways and tools needed to enhance community-level adaptation in NSW. One sub-theme is transformational adaptation and the other is meta-learning.
The two sub-themes will explore the theory behind systems in the pathways of adaptation; critically examine the application of theory to social systems; identify case studies; and identify the characteristics of a vulnerable community.
A paper summarising what we have learned from past adaptation is available in Meta Learning from Past Adaptation by T Measham, B Jacobs and P R Brown (2014).
Understanding and improving the science-policy-community interface in NSW to promote the uptake of climate adaptation options
Led by Ben Harman and Rebecca Clunn (CSIRO) and Brent Jacobs (Institute for Sustainable Futures)
The focus of this theme is to look at the process by which science, policy and communities interact. Specifically, it will seek to understand how formal networks of stakeholders interact with informal ‘shadow networks’ at the local scale to convey information and decisions. On the basis of the results of this analysis, and guided by the outcomes of the Adaptive Communities Node meta-learning theme, a toolkit of engagement options will be developed to inform improved links between community, science and policy.
Social network analysis is a fast-growing methodology for understanding the complex relationships between stakeholders. The Adaptive Communities Node has released an insightful paper into how it can help engage the community on climate change. See An Introduction to Social Networks for Engaging the Community in Climate Policy by C Cvitanovic, R Clunn, B Jacobs, C Williams and T Measham (2014).
Regional innovation systems and business adaptation to climate change
Led by Samantha Sharpe and Brent Jacobs (Institute for Sustainable Futures)
This research works with selected communities in NSW to assess the preconditions for regional change that are required not just for survival but for successful adaptation. Focusing on the analysis of businesses and organisations, it will attempt to operationalise Regional Innovation System (RIS) typologies. A RIS is defined as a group of organisations (enterprises, research centres, development agencies, development institutions, higher education institutes, etc.) and individuals producing knowledge, through research and development and collective learning activities.
This work will help to develop an evidence base of requirements for communities to become more resilient to climate change. It will also identify any opportunities that may arise. The research will also provide indications of the role of government in engaging and supporting communities in increasing their capacity to react to climate change.