PLANNING FOR CLIMATE CHANGE: AN EVIDENCE-BASED APPROACH
with Rhiannan Mundana
For generations, Australians have witnessed and endured the harsh realities of our landscape. From unrelenting droughts to catastrophic bushfires, the country is no stranger to extreme weather.
With the frequency and severity of these events predicted to increase in the near future, it’s important now more than ever to address key questions of how we can continue to plan, prepare and learn from them to mitigate consequences.
In a recent collaboration with A. S. Miner Geotechnical, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Barwon Regional Partnership Councils, Spatial Vision has leveraged digital map-based technology to respond to and mitigate the potential effects of climate change for assets and communities.
The project involved applying spatial data and technologies across four unique regional municipalities (Geelong, Queenscliff, Surf Coast and Colac Otway) to garner a deeper understanding of risks and mitigation options, with tailored team mentoring and support to build capacity in utilising the datasets and processes for extreme weather planning.
This project exceeded our expectations in providing Councils with very tangible and well-developed case studies demonstrating the value in using spatial data and technologies to better understand, plan for and mitigate the likely effects of climate change and extreme weather events.” (Bryan Roberts, Project Manager, Barwon South West Region, DELWP)
The solution brought together detailed user stories, impact assessments and the latest climate projections together with a mapping platform and mentoring program to support DELWP and the BRPCs achieve the following outcomes:
- Better understand the impact of extreme weather events on uniquely characterised geographical areas
- Improve understanding of potential consequences (i.e. flow-through impacts) and the ability to incorporate likely event impacts on assets into planning
- Support lessons learnt from past events through the collation and presentation of previous weather data
- Aid both short and long-term planning (i.e. social vulnerabilities, financial implications, etc.)
- Utilise project outputs as an advocacy mechanism to influence best practice policy and resourcing
Incorporating the latest region-specific climate projection data and historical climate context into custom mentoring sessions was essential from a capacity building perspective. This training helped to contextualise the climate models and information for a practical understanding of their application. Through this project, stakeholders developed increased knowledge and awareness of extreme weather and its potential effect on their respective municipalities. More broadly, the data proved to be a vital resource for land managers and councils to support strategic planning and decision making tasks that will support adaptation in future.
“Spatial data and technologies can help quantify, visualise and communicate observations of anticipated climate changes and their likely impacts, so planners can be better prepared to reduce any potential consequences,” says Stephen Farrell, Chief Spatial Officer at Spatial Vision. “Spatial Vision is committed to assisting across the spectrum of social, economic and environmental assets and values to ensure the planning and general awareness of likely climate change moves to a deeper and more informed level to support decision makers.”
Spatial Vision is committed to assisting across the spectrum of social, economic and environmental assets and values to ensure the planning and general awareness of likely climate change moves to a deeper and more informed level to support decision makers. (Stephen Farrell, Chief Spatial Officer, Spatial Vision)
With each council facing different climate issues of concern, regular communication and consultation with stakeholders throughout the project ensured that applicable and relevant outputs could be generated for each. Regular workshops throughout the project placed stakeholders at the centre, facilitating communication of progress, cross-council collaboration and review of outputs.
Planning for our future climate and mitigating potential risks are critical steps towards future-proofing our cities and the people that inhabit them. Spatial solutions can help promote the safety and wellbeing of our communities, and perhaps most significantly, support those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
Building sustainable communities and environments
Spatial Vision are actively working with Government organisations to deliver increased insight and understanding into potential climate change impacts and extreme weather events. Our solution design process involves meaningful, collaborative engagement of industry, government and community stakeholders, with particular focus on building capacity to ensure tangible, sustainable insights can be adapted over time to support a diverse range of stakeholders. Our approach is rigorously tested against local and domain knowledge, and incorporates best practices in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Learn more about Spatial Vision’s Climate Change solutions