Advancing capacity to adapt to climate change: addressing information needs in the Australian property industry

Georgia Warren-Myers (University of Melbourne – Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning, Melbourne, Australia)
Anna Hurlimann (University of Melbourne – Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning, Melbourne, Australia)
Judy Bush (University of Melbourne – Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning, Melbourne, Australia)

Journal of European Real Estate Research

ISSN: 1753-9269

Publication date: 18 June 2020

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the sources of climate change information used and trusted by key stakeholders in the Australian property industry, their information needs and their capacity to translate that information into decision-making.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative research applying in-depth interviews with 24 key stakeholders from a diverse range of property/real estate companies in Australia.

Findings

This research identified a wide range of information types used by key stakeholders, ranging from reliance on unsophisticated mass media reporting to detailed analysis of scientific research. The capacity of stakeholders to translate this information for their organisation was polarised; 11 of the 24 interviewees indicated they had the capacity, while the other 13 indicated they did not, often owing to time horizons or lack of current interest within the organisation or from clients.

Research limitations/implications

This research was limited to 24 in-depth interviews and is not intended to be a representative sample. However, this limitation is offset by the fact that a diverse range of stakeholders were interviewed and an in-depth and rich understanding has been provided about their approach to climate change.

Practical implications

The results can inform the development of better communication channels for climate change for the property industry by supporting science-practice collaborations in the timely and effective dissemination of research. This is important to understand given the identified need to bridge the gap among research, policy and practice.

Social implications

Climate change poses significant challenges and risks for built environments. The property industry, as a key stakeholder, has great potential to influence current practices. The results reported here assist in addressing these challenges.

Originality/value

At present, limited research globally has been conducted about climate change actions in the property industry. This research responds to this gap.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the research assistance with the data analysis provided by Laura Cutroni. The research was funded through a Research Development Grant from the Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Citation

Warren-Myers, G., Hurlimann, A. and Bush, J. (2020), "Advancing capacity to adapt to climate change: addressing information needs in the Australian property industry", Journal of European Real Estate Research, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 321-335. https://doi.org/10.1108/JERER-03-2020-0017

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Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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