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One human settlement: a transdisciplinary approach to climate change adaptation research

Serrao-Neumann, Silvia, Schuch, G., Harman, Ben P., Crick, Florence, Sano, M., Sahin, Oz, van Staden, Rudi C., Baum, Scott and Low Choy, Darryl C. (2015) One human settlement: a transdisciplinary approach to climate change adaptation research. Futures, 65. pp. 97-109. ISSN 0016-3287

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.futures.2014.08.011


The threat of climate change demands that human settlements adapt to unavoidable impacts. Climate change is a complex problem that requires traditional disciplines to work together to facilitate an integrated and coordinated response to its impacts. Transdisciplinary research approaches have been recognised for being well placed to aid responses to complex problems such as climate change. This paper draws on the experience of the South East Queensland Climate Adaptation Research Initiative (SEQCARI), Australia, to reflect upon the challenges involved in undertaking transdisciplinary research aimed at developing and improving a range of adaptation options for specific sectors as well as across sectors. Challenges and learning's are discussed based on the three phases of transdisciplinary research processes: problem framing and team building, co-creation of solution-oriented transferable knowledge, and (re)integration and application of created knowledge. Four key insights are then discussed to advance transdisciplinary research approaches for climate change adaptation: adoption of a dynamic learning approach such as learning-by-doing/doing-by-learning to provide sufficient flexibility and scope to navigate potential barriers and conflicts; selection of social sciences to drive integration; choice of one sector as a platform for integration; and acknowledgement of existing barriers and limitations associated with the political context in which the research takes place.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 Elsevier Ltd
Divisions: Grantham Research Institute
Climate Change Economics and Policy
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2014 08:26
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2024 05:03
Projects: South East Queensland Climate Adaptation Research Initiative

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