Responding to a transformative stressor : climate change and the institutional governance of Australian cities

Matthews, Tony (2011) Responding to a transformative stressor : climate change and the institutional governance of Australian cities. In Proceedings of the State of Australian Cities National Conference 2011, State of Australian Cities Research Network (ACRN), University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.


This paper understands climate change as a transformative stressor that will prompt responses from institutional governance frameworks in Australian cities. A transformative stressor is characterised as a chronic large-scale phenomenon which triggers a process of institutional change whereby institutions seek to reorientate their activities to better manage the social, economic and environmental impacts created by the transformative dynamic. It is posited that institutional change will be required as Australian metropolitan institutional governance frameworks seek to manage climate change effects in urban environments. It is argued that improved operationalisation of adaptation is required as part of a comprehensive urban response to the transformative stresses climate change and its effects are predicted to create in Australian cities. The operationalisation of adaptation refers to adaptation becoming incorporated, codified and implemented as a central principle of metro-regional planning governance. This paper has three key purposes. First, it examines theoretical and conceptual understandings of the role of transformative stressors in compelling institutional change within urban settings. Second, it establishes a conceptual approach that understands climate change as a transformative stressor requiring institutional change within the metropolitan planning frameworks of Australia's cities. Third, it offers early results and conclusions from an empirical investigation into the current prospects for operationalisation of climate adaptation in planning programs within Southeast Queensland (SEQ) via changes to institutional governance. A significant emerging conclusion is that early climate stresses appear not to be leading to episodic institutional change in the metropolitan planning frameworks of SEQ.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

55 since deposited on 03 Sep 2013
5 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 62267
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Transformative stressors, Urban governance, Climate change, Institutions
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (120500)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 03 Sep 2013 22:02
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2016 22:10

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page