1st Edition

Climate Governance and Urban Planning Implementing Low-Carbon Development Patterns

By Deborah Heinen Copyright 2023
    240 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    240 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Urban planning as a discipline is deeply integral to implementing a low-carbon future. This book fosters an understanding for how the rules-in-use that govern urban planning influence the ability to implement low-carbon development patterns. Drawing on the theoretical foundations of the climate governance and urban planning literatures, the book provides a context to understand plan implementation challenges and obstacles in metropolitan areas.

    As metropolitan regions across the globe seek to reduce emissions from transportation, many levels of governments have developed ambitious climate action plans that make land use and transportation recommendations in order to reduce vehicle miles traveled. Many have recommended low-carbon development patterns which are characterized by intensified and diversified uses around rapid transit stations. However, the implementation of these recommendations is done within the context of different "rules-in-use" unique to the planning systems in each metropolitan region. The book examines the rules-in-use in three metropolitan regions of similar demographic size: the Metro Vancouver, Puget Sound, and the Stuttgart regions. By examining the implementation of low-carbon development patterns, the book focuses on growth management related questions about how to coordinate transit investments with land use decisions in metropolitan regions. The book finds that state legislation that deals with metropolitan planning and regional growth strategies can greatly aid in creating accountability among actors as well as provide a road map to navigate conflicts when implementing low-carbon development patterns.

    By focusing on the rules-in-use, the book is of interest to policy-makers, planners, advocates, and researchers who wish to assess and improve the odds of implementing low-carbon development patterns in a metropolitan region.

    Author’s Biography

    List of Figures

    List of Tables


    List of Acronyms and Abbreviations


    1) Promoting low-carbon development patterns

    Recommendations in Climate Action Plans relevant for planning as a discipline

    Planning debate on nexus between density and vehicle-miles-travelled

    2) Facing a metropolitan governance challenge

    Actors involved in implementing low-carbon development patterns

    The 5 dimensions of Climate Governance Arrangements

    Governing Low carbon development patterns

    3) Understanding rules-in-use as an implementation factor

    Rules-in-use as understudied dimension of climate governance arrangements

    The rules-in-use in planning systems that govern low-carbon development patterns

    4) Aligning plans in the Vancouver Region

    Leveraging the interactive planning system in British Columbia

    Spatial policies and integrating mechanisms in metropolitan Vancouver

    The RGS and transit implementation decisions

    The RGS and local decision-making: Mutually beneficial efforts of local governments and transit providers

    5) Ensuring consistency in the Puget Sound Region

    Encouraging low-carbon development patterns as part of growth management in Washington State

    Spatial policies in the Puget Sound region: Directing growth to the designated urban growth area to achieve emission savings

    Transit implementation: Unilateral transit decision in a negotiated setting

    Local decision-making: Negotiating the transit alignment in a setting of a guiding Regional Growth Strategies

    6) Nesting plans in the Stuttgart Region

    Low-carbon development patterns as a business as usual in the German nested planning system?

    Spatial policies in the Stuttgart Region to support low-carbon development patterns

    Implementation of transit expansion

    Local decision-making: Increasing densities along transit corridors

    7) Reflecting on spatial policies as rules-in-use in Regional Growth Strategies

    8) Integrating mechanisms supporting implementation

    Types of integrating mechanisms based on empirical findings

    The integrative nature of a Regional Growth Strategy between self-regulation and state-regulation

    Implementing transit-connected urban centers with and without a binding Regional Growth Strategy

    The trouble with rezoning around any rapid transit station

    9) Implementing low-carbon development patterns

    Findings for urban planning

    Findings for climate governance






    Deborah Heinen is a Lecturer and Research Assistant at HafenCity Universität, Hamburg, Germany and a regional planner in the Hamburg metropolitan area.