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Adaptation planning in France: Inputs from narratives of change in support of a community-led foresight process

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  • Laboratoire Image Ville Environnement

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In France, integrating adaptation to climate change into planning policies is a prerogative that has recently been delegated to municipalities. There are also various injunctions to engage the local population in this decision-making process. How can municipalities co-construct an adaptive future with their citizens? This article critically describes a community-led foresight process, based on the mapping, analysis and interpretation of narratives of change. Based on empirical results, we explore and discuss the role past, present and future narratives may play in the process of outlining incremental scenarios and how these might enable the identification of pathways and hinge points. The role of design in supporting the process by proposing an innovative foresight workshop is also discussed. We then highlight how these narratives stimulated reflections through an art, design and science foresight experiment.
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... Finally, time horizons ranged from six years into the future (Welling et al., 2019) to 180 years into the future (Da Cunha et al., 2020). Over 50% chose to imagine a future that was more than 20 years ahead (n = 32; 52%) specifically in Europe (n = 12; 63%) and North America (n = 12; 60%). ...
... A sense of relationship building and learning from each other was mainly reported in Europe (n = 4; 21%) (e.g., Bormann et al., 2012;Da Cunha et al., 2020) and North America (n = 6; 30%) (e.g., Littell et al., 2012). This related to building trust across different stakeholder groups as part of the exercise in order to minimize conflicts in the future. ...
... This raises questions of whose responsibility is it to ensure that all stakeholders have access to the knowledge required to engage in the visioning process actively and confidently. The practice of providing background information or discussing key concepts prior to the visioning process was not uncommon in this review (e.g., Serrao-Neumann et al., 2019;Da Cunha et al., 2020;Giampieri et al., 2019), however, it has yet to be incorporated as a recognized key step in the future visioning process. Incorporating the sharing of this knowledge into the project is a starting point to overcome the obstacle of Futures and adaptation illiteracy while paying attention to institutional and governance arrangements that often exclude some voices and privilege others. ...
Article
Adaptation to climate change is about planning for the future while responding to current pressures and challenges. Adaptation scientists are increasingly using future visioning exercises embedded in co-production and co-development techniques to assist stakeholders in imagining futures in a changing climate. Even if these exercises are growing in popularity, surprisingly little scrutiny has been placed on understanding the fundamental assumptions and choices in scenario approaches, timeframes, scales, or methods, and whether they result in meaningful changes in how adaptation is being thought about. Here, we unpack key insights and experiences across 62 case studies that specifically report on using future visioning exercises to engage stakeholders in climate change adaptation. We focus on three key areas: 1) Stakeholder diversity and scales; 2) Tools, methods, and data, and 3) Practical constraints, enablers, and outcomes. Our results show that most studies focus on the regional scale (n = 32; 52%), involve mainly formal decision makers and employ vast array of different methods, tools, and data. Interestingly, most exercises adopt either predictive (what will happen) and explorative (what could happen) scenarios while only a fraction use the more normative (what should happen) scenarios that could enable more transformative thinking. Reported positive outcomes include demonstrated increases in climate change literacy and support for climate change adaptation planning. Unintended and unexpected outcomes include increased anxiety in cases where introduced timeframes go beyond an individual’s expected life span and decreased perceived necessity for undertaking adaptation at all. Key agreed factors that underpin co-production and equal representation, such as gender, age, and diversity, are not well reported, and most case studies do not use reflective processes to harness participant feedback that could enable more robust methodology development. This is a missed opportunity in developing a more fundamental understanding of how these exercises can effectively shift individual and collective mindsets and advance the inclusion of different viewpoints as a pathway for more equitable and just climate adaptation.
... Three papers directly linked with the sites' efforts were published in the past year (Krauß and Bremer 2020;da Cunha et al., 2020;Baztan et al., 2020). These papers are the first Arts-and-Sciences papers published in the dedicated journal, "Climate Risk Management". ...
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Through the efforts shared in this chapter, we embrace the hypothesis that local representations of our changing climate offer a key angle for facing climate change. We describe the coconstruction processes of climate services in five sites across Europe: Bergen (Norway), Brest, Kerourien (France), Dordrecht (the Netherlands), Gulf of Morbihan (France), and Jade Bay (Germany), to share novel ways of transforming state-of-the-art climate science into action-oriented place-based climate services that can be integrated with social understandings and practices of coping with change in Europe. The formal context for “modes of representation” enabled us to recognize the importance of explicitly linking social transformation intentions with local challenges and values, and to connect from there with national and European Framework Directives related to climate services. We reiterate the importance of having local stakeholders engage in the climate services coproduction process in order to forge common commitments and incorporate value perspectives, even those that may be polarized, throughout society as a whole.
... We've grounded our efforts in exploring the local narratives of change (WP1); people's perceptions of the past and present and hopes for the future (Krauß et al., 2018a. The results of this exploration have been published in a special issue of Climate Risk Management Bremer et al., 2020;da Cunha et al., 2020;Krauß, 2020;Marschütz et al., 2020). WP2 expands on that, building on these local narratives to co-design visions of 'desirable futures' and pathways and critical moments that may lead to (or hinder) those. ...
Technical Report
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We developed, tested and refined a novel incremental participatory scenario approach. This method allows for the development of normative scenarios, pathways that lead to desirable futures, with local communities, through a non-linear approach. Developments in the real world rarely follow straightforward linear paths. The approach inventories ‘hinge points’: critical moments in time where things might lead to a better or worse future. The hinge points facilitate the inventory of critical challenges and ambitions relevant to the local situation: climate-related as well as key socio-economic, legal, policy/political, and technological ones. They also allow for exploration of key needs for information or climate services that might be useful to local actors at a given point in time. The method was ground-tested and refined in five case studies in the Netherlands, Norway, France, and Germany. The cases showed that the new approach could be applied and tailored successfully in a variety of situations. Goal/Purpose of the document - Document the novel participatory incremental scenario approach developed by the CoCliServ project. - Detail how locally embedded visions, scenarios, hinge points, and climate information needs can be derived, together with local communities. - Provide guidance and examples to others who might want to use this incremental scenario approach.
... The results presented here are from a broader project entitled "Co-development of place-based climate services for action" (CoCliServ, http://cocliserv.cearc.fr), implemented in parallel at five sites: Jade Bay in Germany (Krauss, 2020), Bergen in Norway , Dordrecht in the Netherlands (Marschütz et al., 2020), the gulf of Morbihan (da Cunha et al., 2020), and the Kerourien neighborhood in Brest, France. These sites follow a shared methodological design starting with narratives as an entry point (Krauss, 2020) and extending to incremental normative scenario design (Vanderlinden, 2015). ...
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The goal of this paper is to analyze how and with what results place-based climate service co-production may be enacted within a community for whom climate change is not a locally salient concern. Aiming to initiate a climate-centered dialogue, a hybrid team of scientists and artists collected local narratives within the Kerourien neighbourhood, in the city of Brest in Brittany, France. Kerourien is a place known for its stigmatizing crime, poverty, marginalization and state of disrepair. Social work is higher on the agenda than climate action. The team thus acknowledged that local narratives might not make much mention of climate change, and recognized part of the work might be to shift awareness to the actual or potential, current or future, connections between everyday non-climate concerns and climate issues. Such a shift called for a practical intervention, centered on local culture. The narrative collection process was dovetailed with preparing the neighbourhood's 50th anniversary celebration and establishing a series of art performances to celebrate the neighbourhood and its residents. Non-climate and quasi-climate stories were collected, documented, and turned into art forms. The elements of climate service co-production in this process are twofold. First, they point to the ways in which non-climate change related local concerns may be mapped out in relation to climate change adaptation, showing how non-climate change concerns call for climate information. Secondly, they show how the co-production of climate services may go beyond the provision of climate information by generating procedural benefits such as local empowerment - thus generating capacities that may be mobilized to face climate change. We conclude by stressing that "place-based climate service co-production for action" may require questioning the nature of the "services" rendered, questioning the nature of "place," and questioning what "action" entails. We offer leads for addressing these questions in ways that help realise empowerment and greater social justice.
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Climate change is affecting the availability, distribution, and quality of water around the world. The impacts of climate change are not happening in a vacuum, but rather, are layered onto and exacerbate pre-existing inequalities and injustices. In this chapter, we argue that water justice and climate change are intertwined in three critical ways. First, we argue that water injustice creates climate change vulnerability and climate change entrenches water injustices. Therefore addressing water injustices will also reduce climate change vulnerability. Second, we argue that the proposed solutions to climate change can and will have implications for water justice. In some cases, mitigation and adaptation solutions will create or deepen existing water injustices while other solutions may represent a space for positive action. We examine six examples of how responses to climate change are poised to affect water justice: lithium mining, REDD+/Payment of Ecosystem Services, hydropower dams, rural to urban water transfers, desalination, and adaptive management. Third, water justice and climate justice struggles can and should build greater unity. By building unity (not uniformity) between water justice and climate justice struggles, movements could gain better insight into the local-global connections that exist between water injustice and climate injustice. Importantly, we also caution scholars against viewing climate change as the driver of water injustice. Climate change, as a discourse, can naturalize water scarcity and obscure the power and politics that drive water injustice. By exploring these important intersections between climate change and water justice, we argue that water justice and climate justice struggles and scholarship would benefit considerably from one another.
Thesis
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Climate change has various impacts on society, but future changes are uncertain and a wide gap remains between the scientific knowledge and societal action (mitigation, adaptation). The gap in climate adaptation was partly addressed by the recent growth of climate services, but their local usability is associated to many barriers. France is an example of lacking climate adaptation at territorial level, and this thesis focuses on the Gulf of Morbihan as a case study. My research aims first to identify the role of climate change in the territory, second to support the local development of adaptation planning, and third to explore future climate change through the angle of clustering approaches.To identify the local role of climate change, I analyze the literature (grey and academic) and engage in field interviews with various stakeholders. Particular features of the territory emerge: the coastal-inland contrast (economy, demography), the socioeconomic life organized seasonally, and the dependence and conflict between agriculture and tourism. The local role of climate change is complex, impacting emblematic activities (oyster farming, salt production), overlapping with existing issues (socioeconomic imbalance, land-use conflict), and affecting agriculture negatively (warmer and drier summers) but tourism positively (longer summer weather). The local experiences are generally consistent with scientific knowledge (ongoing changes, link to climate change), although some elements are scarce in local perceptions (heatwaves).To assist local adaptation, I participated to the experimentation of different foresight activities (scenario workshop, art-science exhibition, conference-debate) with local stakeholders, based on an assessment of climate services and on creative art-design tools (e.g. poker design cards). The main outcomes are two long-term scenarios, multiple short-term actions and several hinge points on which the scenarios depend. The two scenarios represent divergent visions of the territory: continued occupation of the coast despite increasing risks, or withdrawal from the coast and densification of urban areas inland. The scenarios depend on the issue development of urbanization and spatial planning, food and energy autonomy, and demographic balance. The theme of food and energy autonomy concentrates conflicting views between inhabitants, highlighting fears and desires about long-term territorial choices.My investigation of the territory highlighted several climatic themes (e.g. seasonality of weather conditions) that are linked to atmospheric circulation, but future circulation changes are highly uncertain. To investigate the future seasonality of atmospheric circulation, I classify year-round patterns of geopotential height at 500 hPa (Z500) from a reanalysis and several climate models. Despite their biases, climate models reproduce similar evolution of circulation seasonality as the reanalysis. During the last decades, winter conditions have decreased while summer conditions have increased, and these changes strengthen under future climate change. Yet circulation seasonality remains similar relatively to the increase in average Z500, and the same happens for surface temperatures associated to the circulation patterns. I additionally developed the perspective of a new approach to study the local evolution of weather seasonality, based on the classification of multiple variables (temperature, precipitation, windspeed).In addition to the effects from future climate change, the Gulf of Morbihan will probably welcome new populations, and an active collective strategy of adaptation is required. Several routes have been featured in my research to address the local needs in climate adaptation, including perspectives inspired from existing climate services in other countries. The findings from this thesis highlight the physical and social dimensions of climate change.
Technical Report
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We conducted 5 locally-based Arts and Sciences processes, working closely with local stakeholders, artists, scientists and inhabitants in order to propose for each site a conjoint art–science analysis through shared engagement in the interpretation and representations of the various steps conducted within WPs 1, 2 and 3. We present here the theoretical roots, local processes and shared learning, with the art forms as an integral part of the climate services co-construction. The 3 main purposes of the D 4.4 document are: • Remember CoCLiServ shared challenges related with art–science conjoint analysis and share our theoretical approach; • Make explicit the site by site processes associated with the art–science conjoint analysis; • Establish what we consider to be the key points for ongoing and upcoming art–science approaches in the context of climate services.
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Alongside current policy discourses on the transformative potentials of social innovation, social innovation initiatives also construct their own accounts of how society can be transformed and by whom. Building on state-of-the-art futures studies and narrative research and their linkages, this article unfolds these narratives of change (NoC) by social innovation initiatives. A tripartite framework is used to analyse and discuss the content, construction and role of the NoC of four initiatives: Ashoka, the Global Ecovillage Network, RIPESS and Shareable. The analysis shows that all NoC suggest alternative economic arrangements that challenge the current neoliberal, capitalist system, including the dominant policy narrative of (social) innovation for economic growth. It further highlights the pivotal role of NoC in the construction of individual and social identities and the efforts dedicated to the development and communication of collectively shared worldviews. Differences in NoC are identified regarding the more deliberative or rather hierarchical ways of narrative construction. Concluding reflections highlight how NoC reveal the failings of current systems and suggest alternatives, that their construction mirrors and thereby tests the model of change advocated by social innovation initiatives and that NoC may lure actors into enrolment by offering opportunities to engage in meaning-making.
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