Journal of American Planning Association Call for Papers on Climate Change

Prospective authors are invited to submit webstracts of potential articles to the Journal of the American Planning Association (JAPA) for inclusion in a special issue to be published in October 2010 on the subject of planning for climate change. The guest editors will also convene panels on the topic at the spring 2011 APA conference in Boston. Interested authors should submit webstracts to the guest editors, Professors John Landis ( and Randall Crane ( by June 1, 2009. Webstracts should not exceed 450 words and should follow the format described in the style guidelines for authors at (for examples, see the first page of every article in recent issues). By July 1, 2009, the guest editors, in turn, will invite the authors of a subset of these proposals to submit full papers. Final papers must be received at by November 1, 2009. Papers determined to have potential for publication will receive a normal JAPA double-blind peer review; invitation to submit a paper does not imply
a decision to review or acceptance for publication. Papers may be invited to the APA conference, for possible publication, or both.

With many state and local governments (and now, prospectively, the U.S. government) actively trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, questions are emerging about the potential roles for metropolitan and community planning in such efforts. These questions revolve around matching sound planning and policy strategies, effective implementation programs, proper governance functions, and appropriate spatial scales. For example, a number of advocates have proposed an increased role for metropolitan planning organizations (coupling issues of scale and governance) in promoting more compact growth forms (strategy) using urban growth boundaries and infill incentives (implementation programs) to reduce auto-based travel and CO2 emissions
(desirable outcomes). Beyond issues of impact mitigation, many researchers now see some degree of warming as inevitable and are starting to talk about framing effective adaptation strategies. To help inform these efforts, we seek papers on a variety of topics relating planning and infrastructure
investment activities to effective climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Potential paper topics might include (but are not limited to):

  • The relationships among particular land use forms, activity patterns, densities, travel behavior, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The effectiveness of different regulatory and nonregulatory approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions undertaken at the state, metropolitan, or local levels.
  • Innovations or changes to land use and infrastructure planning practices to better address climate changemitigation and adaptation. Examples may be domestic or international and may describe activities at a variety of spatial scales.
  • Examples of planning practices designed to promote the local diffusion of new technologies for reducing or sequestering greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The potential of different urban and neighborhood forms: (a) to incorporate energy conservation and renewable energy generation technologies; (b) to mitigate the urban heat island effect; or (c) to reduce the carbon footprint associated with food production and consumption activities.
  • The potential of various planning strategies (e.g., tree planting) to increase carbon uptake at the metropolitan, community, and neighborhood levels.
  • The potential of various planning and infrastructure investment strategies and approaches to cope with rising sea levels and related impacts, especially in urban areas.
  • The spatial equity implications of climate change, and of mitigation and adaptation responses.
  • Examples of how responses and adaptations to other disasters (e.g., floods or earthquakes) might be appropriately applied to issues of climate change.
  • Discussions of alternative systems of intergovernmental relations and policymaking for dealing with issues of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

In all of these areas, we especially seek: (a) papers detailing innovative methodological breakthroughs or telling empirical results; (b) new meta-studies summarizing and assessing the existing literature and science; and (c) evaluation studies documenting the effectiveness of particular planning approaches. Best practice case studies will be considered where there is demonstrable evidence relating planning/policy interventions to carbon
reductions, effective adaptation results, or both. Put simply, we want to know what works.

We are not seeking proposals advocating particular policy or planning approaches unless based on prior and accepted evaluative studies, nor are we seeking national policy/planning interventions such as carbon taxation or investments in alternative energy sources or carbon sequestration unless they have a central urban or spatial dimension.

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