This research critically investigates tensions and potentialities between risk-based assessments by local governance agencies and innovations by local groups and NGOs.
Climate variability and change is acutely felt at the local scale in Australia. This is where inter/national and State policies are translated into practices to prepare for, and adapt to, anticipated impacts of heatwaves, bushfires and floods.
This research critically investigates tensions and potentialities between risk-based assessments by local governance agencies and innovations by local groups and NGOs. The research utilises an innovative mixed methods approach to critically investigate and analyse the strategies and experiments of adaptation practices. It develops new ways of identifying and implementing practical, local, adaptive responses that are contextually relevant, socially innovative and capacity building.
This project investigates practices of social innovation in climate adaptability at the local scale in Australia. It builds on work that the CIs have been developing over a number of years in the fields of environmental action, geography, urban planning and place-based social innovation analysis. The project addresses knowledge gaps through several original contributions:
The methodological framework engages a practice approach to social innovation.
A practice-approach is crucial for understanding the potential for local scale actors to effect socially innovative
adaptive responses to climate change. The research will focus on how practices associated with climate adaptation responses shape lived outcomes.
The research is concerned with what causes practitioners and other actors to think and act the way they do. It will initially focus on their framing, which serves to define problems, diagnose their causes, evaluate and make judgements about agents and impacts, and suggest remedies and predict their impacts.
The research will further identify the kinds of (institutional) learning that may (or may not) occur in adaptation planning processes, and how far they encourage (or inhibit) processes of creative discovery of new practices, through which new policy frames can become recognised and adopted.
Because practices are situated in the particular circumstances of sites, the research will be grounded in specific local governments and actions in each of the four states in which the CIs are based: Victoria, Queensland, WA and NSW.
This will allow comparisons across different statutory contexts – thus identifying which practices work well in different places under different circumstances.
The specific phases in the research are as follows: