Adaptation Planning

CMM16B Elective Course 4 ECTS
Period -
Instructor Dr. Patricia Manuel


This course explores adaptation to climate change in coastal communities, with a focus on adaptation through coastal land use and community planning. The course uses lectures, seminars, and case study formats. Students work in small teams and individually exploring adaptation tools and selected themes in coastal planning and adaptation planning. Students explore the relevance of local planning frameworks to address land use and development issues in the context of changing environmental conditions at the coast.


At the end of this course student will develop an understanding of;

  • components and content of community plans of coastal jurisdictions and how to assess these plans for coastal planning capacity
  • tools used to develop adaptation strategies
  • information needs for climate change adaptation at the coast
  • climate change adaptation options for coastal communities


Learning processses include lectures and seminars, reading assignments, land use decision-making simulations, studio group work on local planning projects, and individual papers on special topics.


Patricia Manuel is an Associate Professor in the School of Planning at Dalhousie University, she holds second appointments in the School of Occupational Therapy and the Environment, Society and Sustainability Program.

She earned her B.A. Hons in geography from Carleton University (Ottawa), her M.Sc. in physical geography from McGill University (Montreal) and her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary (Environmental) Studies from Dalhousie University (Halifax). She is a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners and the Licensed Professional Planners Association of Nova Scotia. Patricia works mainly in the areas of environmental planning and community planning.

Her teaching includes theory and practice courses in landscape analysis, landscape ecology, geology and land use planning, environmental management, coastal zone management and studios (project-based courses) in environmental planning and policy and plan making. She regularly supervizes graduate (Master of Planning) and undergraduate (Community Design) student thesis and major independent projects in topics relating to environmental and community planning. She has also taught courses in community design principles for health professionals. She focuses her research and professional practice mainly on wetlands interpretation and management, watershed planning and management and climate change adaptation planning. She has worked extensively in community-based environmental planning with watershed groups and has participated in working groups that have included the Halifax Harbour Solutions project (sewage management), writing the management plan for the McNab and Lawlor Islands Provincial Park (Halifax Harbour) and providing experties.