Overall Goal

The aim of this Thematic Network is to explore how communities confront climate change, including assessment of governance structures around climate adaptation or processes dealing with it, and how they seek to adapt to emerging challenges arising from increases in temperature and more extreme weather events. Research will facilitate a better understanding of local expertise and highlight, in particular, the value a community planning perspective brings to discourse on climate resilience. It will shed light on local government decision dynamics around motivational factors and extent of planning for climate resilience.

The TN aims to work collaboratively with local actors and key stakeholders to identify current and future environmental challenges, and to scope how research through the TN can assist communities increase their resilience to the impacts of climate variability, be it through the co-development of policy approaches, on-the-ground action implementation, research capacity and/ or knowledge mobilization, for example. One of the distinctive aspects of this TN is that it will work within and across scales from larger urban centres to small communities, including attention to Indigenous forms of community planning for climate resilience.

Recent Activities

  • Videoconference - Inaugural Partners Meeting (November, 2019).
  • Seminar - Integrating climate change into urban planning education and practice. UN Habitat - Planners for Climate Action Academic Seminar (Nairobi, Kenya, November, 2019). Delivered virtually by Birchall (University of Alberta, Canada).
  • Conference - Environmental extremes and the role of decision-makers in facilitating community resilience. Emergency Management Stakeholder Summit (Edmonton, Canada, February, 2020). Keynote Address by Birchall (University of Alberta, Canada).

Planned activities

  • Seminar - Local-scale Climate Resilience. University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada, March, 2020)
    • Chair/ Organizer - Thematic Network + the Geography and Planning Students Association (University of Alberta, Canada)
  • Panel - Local environmental change and planning for resilience across the Arctic. UArctic Congress (Reykjavik, Iceland, October, 2020)
    • Co-Chairs/ Organizers - University of Alberta, Canada + Agricultural University of Iceland, Iceland
  • Workshop - Planning and Resilience: Local impacts and local solutions (Whitehorse, Canada, February, 2021)
    • Chair/ Organizer - University of Alberta, Canada; in discussion with local Yukon institution to Co-Chair.

Thematic Network Cross-links

Recent relevant publications by Partners


University of Alberta, Faculty of Science media release: New international network on climate change led by UAlberta scientist