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Climate Change Adaptation and Housing in Canada: A Policy Integration Analysis at Multiple Levels


Climate Change Adaptation and Housing in Canada: A Policy Integration Analysis at Multiple Levels

Yue, Alice (2022) Climate Change Adaptation and Housing in Canada: A Policy Integration Analysis at Multiple Levels. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Adaptation is an essential component of action to deal with the growing severity of climate change. It is widely recognized in the literature that adaptation is a cross-cutting issue that requires deliberate and coordinated engagement from all sectors and levels of governance to achieve successful implementation. The housing sector is particularly impacted by climate change. Frequent exposure to climate events such as flooding, wildfires, and extreme heat are leaving households unable to cope with worsening conditions. In addition to physical risks, lack of access to safe and secure housing is a major driver of social vulnerability, which increases the disproportionate burden of climate change experienced by disadvantaged and marginalized groups. In Canada, housing makes up one of the biggest industries and therefore has become a crucial consideration in national adaptation efforts. To date, Canada has favoured a decentralized governance approach to climate change adaptation that disperses responsibility across federal, territorial, provincial, and municipal jurisdictions. Consequently, strategic initiatives are emerging to address adaptation from each level of government, which raises the question of how well integrated adaptation action is across sectors and levels of government. Does Canadian adaptation policy recognize the role that housing policies play in shaping climate change-related risks and vulnerabilities? To what extent is housing and adaptation policy vertically (by level of government) and horizontally (by sector) integrated? In answering these questions, this paper builds on a growing body of policy integration research by conducting a content analysis of policy goals and instruments in Canadian housing and climate change adaptation strategies. Using a policy comparison framework adapted from Candel and Biesbroek (2016), I identify 62 strategic documents related to adaptation and housing policy published since 2015 from 27 units of government. I identify 2,088 policy instruments from these documents and examine the extent to which there is integration across policy frames, goals, instruments, and policy subsystems within these policy domains. Though there are climate policy integration studies in other sectors such as forestry, energy, and agriculture, this paper will demonstrate the first policy integration study involving adaptation and the housing sector. It aims to shed important insight on challenges in Canada’s policy design in these sectors to inform more coordinated climate resilience policymaking in the future.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Geography, Planning and Environment
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Yue, Alice
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Geography, Urban & Environmental Studies
Date:15 November 2022
Thesis Supervisor(s):Lesnikowski, Alexandra
ID Code:991527
Deposited By: Alice Yue
Deposited On:21 Jun 2023 14:54
Last Modified:09 Jan 2024 01:00
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