Sustainable development and urban planning regulations in the context of climate change management measures
The purpose of this paper is to evaluate recent and upcoming changes in urban planning legislation in the Republic of Lithuania, which acknowledge the necessity of introducing climate change management tools. Sustainable development is a core principle of the Spatial Planning Law of the Republic of Lithuania since 2014. Special attention to the management of climate change is given at the national and municipal levels, and recent legislative initiatives are proof of this. Methodology – this analysis is based on evaluating the main applicable documents and introduced amendments. The theoretical publications, statistical data, and judicial practice are also observed while interpreting the given normative rules. This paper specifically analyses the legal requirements enshrined in Lithuanian law that are intended to foster sustainable development. New amendments to manage climate change are also analysed. In addition, the solutions of the Vilnius Master Plan are presented, as they introduced the principle of sustainable development before it became a national rule, as well as climate change management measures. Findings – the analysis reveals that national regulation only sets out the principles for spatial planners, and it is left to local governments to make final decisions on what exact measures may be introduced for the purpose of ensuring sustainable development and climate change management via spatial planning. This is a cause for concern and should lead to renewed calls for a coherent and ambitious approach to introduce the specific measures at the national level – at least in the by – laws to ensure consistent and unified application. Despite the vague wording employed by the regulations, the Vilnius Master Plan actively encourages the introduction of measures which could help in ensuring sustainable development and climate change management via spatial planning. Originality/value – this article is the first to analyse the newly adopted principle of sustainable development in the light of climate change management via spatial planning regulations in the Republic of Lithuania. In addition, the present analysis contributes to worldwide studies on sustainable development and climate change measures by filling a gap from Lithuania’s side, showing recent regulatory changes as a good practice to other jurisdictions.
sustainable development, urban planning, spatial planning, environmental law, climate change, land use law
K32 , K23 , K25 , R58 , Q01 , Q15 , Q54 , Q56
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