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Scenarios and sustainability: tools for alleviating the gap between municipal means and responsibilities in adaptation planning
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2835-919X
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4063-3219
2012 (English)In: Local Environment: the International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, ISSN 1354-9839, E-ISSN 1469-6711, Vol. 17, no 6-7, p. 641-662Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Adaptation to climate change often involves long-time frames and uncertainties over the consequences of chosen adaptation measures. In this study, two tools designed for assisting local decision-makers in adaptation planning were tested: socio-economic scenarios and sustainability analysis. The objective was to study whether these tools could be of practical relevance to Swedish municipalities and facilitate local-level climate change adaptation. We found that the municipal planners who participated in the testing generally considered the tools useful and of high relevance, but that more time was needed to use the tools than was provided during the test process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 17, no 6-7, p. 641-662
Keywords [en]
adaptation, climate change, cost-benefit analysis, goal conflict, socio-economic scenarios
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-75316DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2011.646969Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84863915761OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-75316DiVA, id: diva2:490454
Note

QC 20150629

Available from: 2012-02-05 Created: 2012-02-05 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Sustainable Goals: Feasible Paths to Desirable Long-Term Futures
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainable Goals: Feasible Paths to Desirable Long-Term Futures
2014 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The general aim of this licentiate thesis is to analyze the framework in which long-term goals are set and subsequently achieved. It is often claimed that goals should be realistic, meaning that they should be adjusted to known abilities. This thesis will argue that this might be very difficult in areas related to sustainable development and climate change adaptation, and that goals that are, to an acceptable degree, unrealistic, can have important functions.

Essay I discusses long-term goal setting. When there is a great temporal discrepancy between the point in time of setting and achieving a goal, many uncertainties have to be considered. The surrounding world and the agent’s abilities and values might change. This is an ontological uncertainty. We often form beliefs regarding how abilities and values might change, but this belief is always uncertain. This is an epistemological uncertainty. A form of goal called cautiously utopian goals is proposed, which incorporate such uncertainties, but enables goal setting with long time-frames.

Essay II discusses the issue of goals intended to reduce great risks. We cannot expect an agent to do something that lies beyond this agent’s abilities, as exemplified in the principle ‘ought implies can’. Adjusting goals to what we currently, with a high degree of certainty know could be done is difficult. If not including an estimation of how abilities can change, important performance-enhancing functions of goals might be lost. It is argued that very ambitious goals should be set. This is partly due to the great magnitude and likelihood of unwanted consequences and partly due to the difficulty of delineating what lies in agents’ capacity to manage complex risks.

Essay III discusses a decision-facilitating tool Sustainability Analysis to be used by Swedish municipal planners. One sub-part of the tool, Goal Conflict Analysis, can be used to identify how the consequences of a planned adaptation measure will affect other long-term municipal goals. Identified goal conflicts can then be used in order to determine whether the conflicts are acceptable, or whether a different adaptation measure should be worked out. The paper discusses a workshop in a Swedish municipality in which the tool has been tested.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. p. 49
Series
Theses in philosophy from the Royal Institute of Technology, ISSN 1650-8831 ; 46
Keywords
goal setting, adaptation, sustainability, utopian goals, realistic goals
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-144917 (URN)978-91-7595-079-2 (ISBN)
Presentation
2014-05-15, 1515, Teknikringen 74D, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20140505

Available from: 2014-05-05 Created: 2014-05-05 Last updated: 2014-05-05Bibliographically approved

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