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The Barriers and Opportunities of Adapting Suburbs to Climate Change

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Suburban neighbourhoods offer a challenge for climate change adaptation as the land and assets are largely privately owned. Therefore, it is difficult to engage and motivate agents of change, such as resident homeowners, to act in an effective manner to ensure that suburbs are suitable for a future changed climate. It is however important for actions in suburbs to be taken in a way which can achieve a beneficial cumulative effect, and avoid a negative impact on the area as a whole. This paper draws on research findings of the EPSRC funded SNACC project which aims to determine how suburbs can adapt to climate change. The research was undertaken in three separate cities, Oxford, Bristol and Stockport. In each city residents were gathered in workshops to view and comment on potential adaptation and mitigation options that could be applied in their suburb. The adaption options covered changes at the house, garden and neighbourhood scale and were customised to the local built typology and land morphology. The workshops sought to determine the respondents' perceptions of the effectiveness, feasibility and acceptability of the adaptation options and how their perception of climate change as a risk, and their exposure to previous climate related hazards (e.g. floods), had influenced their responses. The paper addresses a gap in knowledge on the barriers and opportunities to adapting for climate change, within the context of suburbs which have complex ownership status

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