Urban Climate Change Adaptation: We don't get what we expect

Johannes Klein is defending his Doctoral Thesis on Friday 15.9.2017.

The public examination of the doctoral dissertation of Johannes Klein, M.Sc. (Eng), will be held on 15 September 2017 at 12.00 at the Aalto University School of Engineering. The title of the dissertation is The Coincidence of the Settled and the Unsettling: Urban Climate Change Adaptation in Finland. Field of the dissertation is spatial planning and transportation engineering.

The dissertation explores urban climate change adaptation in two Nordic countries, in Finland and Denmark. It focuses on how ideas are borne, altered and executed, and how public authorities, the private sector and citizens participate in this process.

The analyses of observed adaptation actions in Helsinki, Copenhagen, and Espoo, provide the basis for three conclusions. First, the existing urban context – not only the physical structure, but notably also the societal context, urban planning, and governance – influences, but does not determine urban adaptation.

Second, people and organisations have contending views about the best ways to adapt. As a consequence, adaptation actions can be conflicting, lead to trade-offs, and can include simultaneously competing elements of market-orientation, deliberation and public sector-led adaptation.

Third, the interplay of urban context and competing approaches to urban adaptation results in an unavoidable degree of inconsistency. Urban adaptation has to accommodate not only negotiations about the desirable state it is aspiring to, but simultaneously the implementation experiences continuous adjustments and alterations.

Observable adaptation action is thus always in the making and between the competing envisaged solutions.

Opponent: Professor Elisabeth M. Hamin, University of Massachusetts, USA

Supervisor: Professor Raine Mäntysalo, Aalto University School of Engineering, Department of Built Environment

Electronic dissertation: https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/handle/123456789/27883

Contact information: Johannes Klein, johannes.klein(at)gtk.fi