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Can planning legislation in New South Wales support adaptation responses to the impacts of climate change in urban areas?: A study of green infrastructure in the Greater Sydney Region

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posted on 2022-03-28, 23:56 authored by Ana Carolina Napoli Carneiro
Planning laws are essential to managing climate change adaptation in urban areas in Australia. Recently, the focus in New South Wales (NSW) has been on minimising the impacts of climate change on coastal and bushfire prone areas. Yet, the concern regarding the increasing impacts of extreme heat events in urban areas is growing. One of the adaptive responses has been through the development of green infrastructure. This concept is well-known for its multifunctional benefits, which extend beyond mitigating the urban heat island effect and improving air quality. This research explores how planning laws and other mechanisms of governance in NSW can support adaptive responses to climate impacts in urban areas through green infrastructure. Western Sydney, an area within the Greater Sydney Region is the focus area for this study. It has been selected due to its unprecedented urban and population growth, coupled with its escalating exposure to extreme heat events. The study investigates the NSW Government legal framework and instruments for planning, together with local government initiatives that underpin the rapid growth of this region. While this study acknowledges the growing commitment to green infrastructure through plans and policies, it argues for the need for green infrastructure to be incorporated in to the legal framework at state and local levels to support adaptation responses in vulnerable areas to extreme heat. International case studies provide exemplars as to how the law could evolve in the future. This includes the development of planning instruments for increased standards, funding and established responsibility between state and local government authorities.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction -- 2. Methodology and limitations -- 3. Climate adaptation in urban areas and the law -- 4. International frameworks and Australia -- 5. Climate adaptation and planning law in NSW -- 6. Green infrastructure in NSW – planning for climate adaptation -- 7. Green infrastructure, funding and the law -- 8. Challenges and opportunities -- 9. Conclusion -- 10. Bibliography.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 71-82

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Department, Centre or School

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Kirsten Davies


Copyright Ana Carolina Napoli Carneiro 2018. Copyright disclaimer:




New South Wales


1 online resource (82 pages)

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