Human health and climate change: Leverage points for adaptation in urban environments

Katrina Proust, Barry Newell, Helen Brown, Anthony Capon, Chris Browne, Anthony Burton, Jane Dixon, Lisa Mu, Monica Zarafu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    30 Citations (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    The design of adaptation strategies that promote urban health and well-being in the face of climate change requires an understanding of the feedback interactions that take place between the dynamical state of a city, the health of its people, and the state of the planet. Complexity, contingency and uncertainty combine to impede the growth of such systemic understandings. In this paper we suggest that the collaborative development of conceptual models can help a group to identify potential leverage points for effective adaptation. We describe a three-step procedure that leads from the development of a high-level system template, through the selection of a problem space that contains one or more of the group's adaptive challenges, to a specific conceptual model of a sub-system of importance to the group. This procedure is illustrated by a case study of urban dwellers' maladaptive dependence on private motor vehicles. We conclude that a system dynamics approach, revolving around the collaborative construction of a set of conceptual models, can help communities to improve their adaptive capacity, and so better meet the challenge of maintaining, and even improving, urban health in the face of climate change
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2134-2158
    Number of pages25
    JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
    Volume9
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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    Urban Health
    Climate Change
    Planets
    Health
    Motor Vehicles
    Uncertainty
    Growth

    Cite this

    Proust, Katrina ; Newell, Barry ; Brown, Helen ; Capon, Anthony ; Browne, Chris ; Burton, Anthony ; Dixon, Jane ; Mu, Lisa ; Zarafu, Monica. / Human health and climate change: Leverage points for adaptation in urban environments. In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2012 ; Vol. 9, No. 6. pp. 2134-2158.
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    title = "Human health and climate change: Leverage points for adaptation in urban environments",
    abstract = "The design of adaptation strategies that promote urban health and well-being in the face of climate change requires an understanding of the feedback interactions that take place between the dynamical state of a city, the health of its people, and the state of the planet. Complexity, contingency and uncertainty combine to impede the growth of such systemic understandings. In this paper we suggest that the collaborative development of conceptual models can help a group to identify potential leverage points for effective adaptation. We describe a three-step procedure that leads from the development of a high-level system template, through the selection of a problem space that contains one or more of the group's adaptive challenges, to a specific conceptual model of a sub-system of importance to the group. This procedure is illustrated by a case study of urban dwellers' maladaptive dependence on private motor vehicles. We conclude that a system dynamics approach, revolving around the collaborative construction of a set of conceptual models, can help communities to improve their adaptive capacity, and so better meet the challenge of maintaining, and even improving, urban health in the face of climate change",
    keywords = "Cities, Climate adaptation, Co-effects, Conceptual models, Leverage points, System dynamics, Systems thinking, Urban health",
    author = "Katrina Proust and Barry Newell and Helen Brown and Anthony Capon and Chris Browne and Anthony Burton and Jane Dixon and Lisa Mu and Monica Zarafu",
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    Proust, K, Newell, B, Brown, H, Capon, A, Browne, C, Burton, A, Dixon, J, Mu, L & Zarafu, M 2012, 'Human health and climate change: Leverage points for adaptation in urban environments', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 9, no. 6, pp. 2134-2158. https://doi.org/10.3390/IJERPH9062134

    Human health and climate change: Leverage points for adaptation in urban environments. / Proust, Katrina; Newell, Barry; Brown, Helen; Capon, Anthony; Browne, Chris; Burton, Anthony; Dixon, Jane; Mu, Lisa; Zarafu, Monica.

    In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol. 9, No. 6, 2012, p. 2134-2158.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    T1 - Human health and climate change: Leverage points for adaptation in urban environments

    AU - Proust, Katrina

    AU - Newell, Barry

    AU - Brown, Helen

    AU - Capon, Anthony

    AU - Browne, Chris

    AU - Burton, Anthony

    AU - Dixon, Jane

    AU - Mu, Lisa

    AU - Zarafu, Monica

    PY - 2012

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    AB - The design of adaptation strategies that promote urban health and well-being in the face of climate change requires an understanding of the feedback interactions that take place between the dynamical state of a city, the health of its people, and the state of the planet. Complexity, contingency and uncertainty combine to impede the growth of such systemic understandings. In this paper we suggest that the collaborative development of conceptual models can help a group to identify potential leverage points for effective adaptation. We describe a three-step procedure that leads from the development of a high-level system template, through the selection of a problem space that contains one or more of the group's adaptive challenges, to a specific conceptual model of a sub-system of importance to the group. This procedure is illustrated by a case study of urban dwellers' maladaptive dependence on private motor vehicles. We conclude that a system dynamics approach, revolving around the collaborative construction of a set of conceptual models, can help communities to improve their adaptive capacity, and so better meet the challenge of maintaining, and even improving, urban health in the face of climate change

    KW - Cities

    KW - Climate adaptation

    KW - Co-effects

    KW - Conceptual models

    KW - Leverage points

    KW - System dynamics

    KW - Systems thinking

    KW - Urban health

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