Definitions of event magnitudes, spatial scales, and goals for climate change adaptation and their importance for innovation and implementation

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

We examine how core professional and institutional actors in the innovation system conceptualize climate change adaptation in regards to pluvial flooding—and how this influences innovation. We do this through a qualitative case study in Copenhagen with interconnected research rounds, including 32 semi-structured interviews, to strengthen the interpretation and analysis of qualitative data. We find that the term “climate change adaptation” currently has no clearly agreed definition in Copenhagen; instead, different actors use different conceptualizations of climate change adaptation according to the characteristics of their specific innovation and implementation projects. However, there is convergence among actors towards a new cognitive paradigm, whereby economic goals and multifunctionality are linked with cost-benefit analyses for adapting to extreme rain events on a surface water catchment scale. Differences in definitions can lead to both successful innovation and to conflict, and thus they affect the city's capacity for change. Our empirical work suggests that climate change adaptation can be characterized according to three attributes: event magnitudes (everyday, design, and extreme), spatial scales (small/local, medium/urban, and large/national-international), and (a wide range of) goals, thereby resulting in different technology choices.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWater Research
Volume144
Pages (from-to)192-203
Number of pages12
ISSN0043-1354
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • City
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Discourse
  • Innovation
  • Stormwater

Cite this

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title = "Definitions of event magnitudes, spatial scales, and goals for climate change adaptation and their importance for innovation and implementation",
abstract = "We examine how core professional and institutional actors in the innovation system conceptualize climate change adaptation in regards to pluvial flooding—and how this influences innovation. We do this through a qualitative case study in Copenhagen with interconnected research rounds, including 32 semi-structured interviews, to strengthen the interpretation and analysis of qualitative data. We find that the term “climate change adaptation” currently has no clearly agreed definition in Copenhagen; instead, different actors use different conceptualizations of climate change adaptation according to the characteristics of their specific innovation and implementation projects. However, there is convergence among actors towards a new cognitive paradigm, whereby economic goals and multifunctionality are linked with cost-benefit analyses for adapting to extreme rain events on a surface water catchment scale. Differences in definitions can lead to both successful innovation and to conflict, and thus they affect the city's capacity for change. Our empirical work suggests that climate change adaptation can be characterized according to three attributes: event magnitudes (everyday, design, and extreme), spatial scales (small/local, medium/urban, and large/national-international), and (a wide range of) goals, thereby resulting in different technology choices.",
keywords = "City, Climate change adaptation, Discourse, Innovation, Stormwater",
author = "Madsen, {Herle Mo} and Andersen, {Maj Munch} and Martin Rygaard and Mikkelsen, {Peter Steen}",
year = "2018",
doi = "10.1016/j.watres.2018.07.026",
language = "English",
volume = "144",
pages = "192--203",
journal = "Water Research",
issn = "0043-1354",
publisher = "I W A Publishing",

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Definitions of event magnitudes, spatial scales, and goals for climate change adaptation and their importance for innovation and implementation

AU - Madsen, Herle Mo

AU - Andersen, Maj Munch

AU - Rygaard, Martin

AU - Mikkelsen, Peter Steen

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - We examine how core professional and institutional actors in the innovation system conceptualize climate change adaptation in regards to pluvial flooding—and how this influences innovation. We do this through a qualitative case study in Copenhagen with interconnected research rounds, including 32 semi-structured interviews, to strengthen the interpretation and analysis of qualitative data. We find that the term “climate change adaptation” currently has no clearly agreed definition in Copenhagen; instead, different actors use different conceptualizations of climate change adaptation according to the characteristics of their specific innovation and implementation projects. However, there is convergence among actors towards a new cognitive paradigm, whereby economic goals and multifunctionality are linked with cost-benefit analyses for adapting to extreme rain events on a surface water catchment scale. Differences in definitions can lead to both successful innovation and to conflict, and thus they affect the city's capacity for change. Our empirical work suggests that climate change adaptation can be characterized according to three attributes: event magnitudes (everyday, design, and extreme), spatial scales (small/local, medium/urban, and large/national-international), and (a wide range of) goals, thereby resulting in different technology choices.

AB - We examine how core professional and institutional actors in the innovation system conceptualize climate change adaptation in regards to pluvial flooding—and how this influences innovation. We do this through a qualitative case study in Copenhagen with interconnected research rounds, including 32 semi-structured interviews, to strengthen the interpretation and analysis of qualitative data. We find that the term “climate change adaptation” currently has no clearly agreed definition in Copenhagen; instead, different actors use different conceptualizations of climate change adaptation according to the characteristics of their specific innovation and implementation projects. However, there is convergence among actors towards a new cognitive paradigm, whereby economic goals and multifunctionality are linked with cost-benefit analyses for adapting to extreme rain events on a surface water catchment scale. Differences in definitions can lead to both successful innovation and to conflict, and thus they affect the city's capacity for change. Our empirical work suggests that climate change adaptation can be characterized according to three attributes: event magnitudes (everyday, design, and extreme), spatial scales (small/local, medium/urban, and large/national-international), and (a wide range of) goals, thereby resulting in different technology choices.

KW - City

KW - Climate change adaptation

KW - Discourse

KW - Innovation

KW - Stormwater

U2 - 10.1016/j.watres.2018.07.026

DO - 10.1016/j.watres.2018.07.026

M3 - Journal article

VL - 144

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EP - 203

JO - Water Research

JF - Water Research

SN - 0043-1354

ER -