Building Community Resiliency: Engaging Local Governments, Regional Land Use Planners and Decision-Makers in Climate Change Adaptation
It is increasingly believed that no matter how aggressive localities are in reducing greenhouse gases, some amount of climate change and resulting impacts will continue due to the effects of gases that already have been released. Our nation’s local governments – cities, counties, towns and townships –will be on the front lines reducing the negative consequences of climate change – which may play out differently in different locations. Some regions are already seeing changes in the climate, and others may expect to see changes over the next several decades; this may include extreme weather events or temperature changes, increased flooding or drought, coastal storm surges, sea level rise and urban heating. Because these problems reach across jurisdictional boundaries, they are best addressed by regional councils, including councils of government (COG) and metropolitan planning organizations (MPO). These entities play a critical role in bringing together local elected officials and planners of multiple jurisdictions to successfully plan for the complex challenges of climate change. In addition, climate data is most readily available on a regional scale, making regional councils the most appropriate organizations to implement successful adaptation programs.
NARC, through funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is working to investigate the readiness and needs of local government and regional land use planners and decision-makers to enhance their ability to plan for and respond to climate change. NARC will determine the type, scale, and format of climate information, data, and tools needed by land use planners and decision-makers to assist their development and implementation of climate change adaptation plans.
Climate Adaptation Report
NARC worked with the University of Colorado at Denver to explore how regional planning organizations are responding to climate change, as part of the Building Community Resiliency project. The results of this research are detailed in a white paper, Regions Planning for Climate Adaptation, which is located HERE. In addition, a synopsis of the paper and the key survey findings are included on the Environmental Reports webpage.
Climate Adaptation Information/News/Links:
- The Georgetown Climate Center’s Adaptation Clearinghouse is an excellent resource for communities looking to adapt to climate change.
- See the NOAA Climate Service and NOAA Climate Program Office.
- This work will be part of the National Climate Assessment.
- ICLEI has launched ADAPT – an adaptation planning took for local governments.
- EPA’s State and Local Climate and Energy Program – click here for their webinar series on Climate Change Adaptation. A topic page on impacts and adaptation includes links to state adaptation plans, guidebooks, programs and tools.
- The Center for Clean Air Policy’s Urban Leaders Adaptation Initiative publications: “The Value of Green Infrastructure for Urban Climate Adaptation” and “Lessons Learned on Local Climate Adaptation.”
- Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange’s (CAKE) website provides a virtual library, case studies, a directory of people and organizations and tools.
- NOAA’s Quarterly Climate Impacts and Outlook Reports for State and Local Governments provides reports aimed at assisting policymakers as they prepare for drought and other extreme weather events.
- UK Climate Impacts Program (UKCIP) provides information, tools, case studies, news and links to resources on climate change adaptation.
Email Mia Colson or call 202.986.1032, x218