Rijke, J., Farrelly, M., Brown, R., & Zevenbergen, C. (2013). Configuring transformative governance to enhance resilient urban water systems. Environmental Science & Policy, 25, 62–72.

There were a few parts of this article that were especially relevant and useful (or at least insightful). Particularly, the way the authors used the adaptive cycle to show the different stages of where the water sensitive cities (WSC) of Australia were, in their transitions of governance. The table below is a good summary of the discussion on transition:

The adaptive cycle in practice

The adaptive cycle in practice


As well, there is a good high-level discussion on the limitations of both centralized and de-centralized policy decision making (which is in my notes).

A particular salient point in the article was brought up in the first page, and it read:

” Developing resilient water resource management systems is more a governance issue than a technological issue as ‘adaptation to climate change is limited by the values, perceptions, processes and power structures within society” (p. 63). I note that this is painfully evident in the current debates on climate change in the U.S. and many other countries, Canada included.

What the authors have set out to do is align effective governance strategies for a WSC during the different stages of the transformation stage of the adaptation cycle, as found in the social-ecological systems theory and resilience theory. Indeed, this is the first ‘application’ i’ve come across of the adaptive cycle in use.

This entry was posted in Reading Reflections, Theme 1: Multilevel governance and resilience theory. Bookmark the permalink.

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