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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A New Conception of Planning in the Era of Climate Change

  • Author(s): Wheeler, Stephen
  • et al.

Climate change represents the largest planning challenge humanity has ever faced. Past planning has not only failed to confront the global warming crisis, but has helped increase emissions. Climate action plans being developed by governments at all levels still do not address underlying drivers of the problem such as unsustainable levels of population, consumption, and inequity. Nor do debates around climate change planning address the core reasons why societies to date have been unable to deal with such sustainability challenges: dysfunctional democracy, poorly regulated capitalism, and unhealthy social ecologies. Achieving a sustainable, carbon- neutral society requires that planning confront these realities and develop a new conception of itself as a far more proactive endeavor to help societies prepare for a sustainable future.

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