Stephen R.J. Sheppard, PhD, ASLA, Professor
Director of CALP Faculty of Applied Sciences, School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture;
Forest Resources Management, Faculty of Forestry
University of British Columbia
Developing Climate Change Solutions at the Local Level – The Role of Landscape Planners and Visioning Processes
The multiple aspects of climate change create an urgent need to bring together climate scientists, practitioners, decision-makers and the public within enhanced forms of landscape and community-scale planning.
This presentation describes a process for envisioning local climate change futures, using a collaborative, science-based approach to produce mapping and 4D visualization of climate change scenarios in the community’s backyard.
The Local Climate Change Visioning Process is structured around global and local emission scenarios, climate modelling, best available data, and local knowledge. The process integrates the causes, impacts, mitigation and adaptation of climate change.
It aims to localise, spatialise, and visualize plausible alternative landscape scenarios with multiple climate change solutions.
The process has been tested in several Canadian case studies, including a floodprone coastal community (Delta), a mountain community with dwindling snowpack (North Vancouver), and an interior community vulnerable to forest fires and flooding (Kimberley).
Visioning products, showing for example projected flooding of neighbourhoods and various flood management and renewable energy options, have proved to be powerful and credible in evaluated exercises with practitioners and lay-people.
The process can provide meaningful and compelling new information on landscape-level impacts and solutions, increase participants’ support for policy change, and accelerate the serious consideration of radical sustainable planning options that have historically been culturally unacceptable.
The presentation will describe guidance now becoming available to communities and practitioners for conducting such processes. It advocates a stronger role for landscape architects and planners in building community capacity to respond to climate change, and retrofitting our communities to be low-carbon, attractive, and resilient.
Acknowledgements to CALP colleagues and partners, including D. Flanders, E.Pond, J.Salter, K. Tatebe, S.Burch, A. Shaw, S. Cohen, J. Carmichael, and the GEOID E Research Network.
Stephen teaches in sustainable landscape planning, aesthetics, and visualization in the Faculty of Forestry and Landscape Architecture programme at UBC.
He received a BA/MA in Agricultural and Forest Sciences at Oxford, a MSc. in Forestry at UBC, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Planning at UC Berkeley.
He directs the Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP), an interdisciplinary research group using perception-testing and immersive/interactive visualization to support public awareness and collaborative planning on sustainability issues.
He has over 30 years' experience in environmental assessment and public participation internationally.
He has written or co-written two books on visual simulation, and co-edited "Forests and Landscapes: Linking Ecology, Sustainability, and Aesthetics" in the IUFRO Research series.
He was a co-author on the Canadian National Assessment of climate change impacts and adaptation (BC Chapter), and served as a reviewer of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Recent research includes visioning of community climate change futures, perceptions of climate change, the aesthetics of sustainability, and visualization theory and ethics.