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Establishing and Evaluating Climate Change Heuristics of Multi-Actor Professional Leadership in the New York Metropolitan Region

Keenan, Jesse M.; King, David Andrew; Willis, Derek

This article sets out to evaluate the existing range of heuristics and preferences for the concepts of adaptation, resilience, mitigation and coping of a variety of actors in the metropolitan region of New York City who are undertaking professional leadership positions in developing policies and practices which address a multitude of risks associated with climate change. Prior interviews and observations have suggested that the inconsistent usage of these concepts—including, the rhetorical application of resilience as a leading framework—are thwarting the development of planning instruments and decision tools. This article positions a normative set of meanings for each of the aforementioned concepts based on a review of existing literature. Then, utilizing a survey, these normative meanings are evaluated by and between the: (i) concepts and meanings; (ii) concepts and applications; and, (iii) applications and preferences, as applied to various risk based scenarios ranging from sea level rise to heat waves. This survey tests the hypotheses that the respondents: (a) are unable to consistently match the concept of resiliency with the normative meanings or applications: and, (b) will not consistently show a preference for resilience applications or outcomes ahead of other concepts. The results of the survey confirm both hypotheses, which is demonstrative of the inadequacy of the current framework dominated by resilience in its rhetorical form. It is anticipated that the results of this article will advance an argument for the necessity to develop consistent meanings for concepts which bridge the scientific, policy and popular domains.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Center for Urban Real Estate
Published Here
April 28, 2015