Planning, building and insuring: adaptation of built environment to climate change induced increased intensity of natural hazards

This project examines the likely impacts on the built environment of increased intensities in weather-related natural hazard events, in order to identify the possibilities of using the regulatory mechanisms of building construction, housing and planning in climate change adaptation. The research findings are restricted to these three aspects of the built environment, and further concentrated on adaptation responses that may be required in mitigation of the impacts of three types of hazards; tropical cyclones, floods and bushfires. Adaptation of the built environment to climate change is predicated on scenarios, especially those collated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that suggest increases in the impacts of natural hazards as a consequence of global warming. This project took a case study approach to understanding the adaptation of the built environment to anticipated increased challenges of natural hazards in the climate change context. Where the market operates on short-term gains, such as where development continues in high risk location, mechanisms are needed to ensure that new property developments and infrastructure are constructed in a risk appropriate manner consistent with local hazards. Three research groups collaborated to examine a range of responses in planning, building, and insurance practice and legislation that may be required as adaptation to climate change induced natural hazards.