Featured Content: Our Work
The Georgetown Climate Center recently launched the new and improved Adaptation Clearinghouse to help communities find the resources they need to prepare for climate change. The new system features an improved search interface, greater content curation, and new tools for partner organizations and websites.
The Center works with cities, states, and neighborhood leaders to develop policies that help communities prepare for climate change impacts, such as sea-level rise, flooding, drought, and urban heat. The Center also works to ensure that solutions are applied in a fair and equitable manner.
Tools and Data: Tools to Help Communities Prepare for Climate Change
With the planet warming and extreme weather becoming the new normal, states and communities are seeking out resources to help them anticipate climate impacts and protect residents, homes, businesses, and public infrastructure. Now is the time to begin taking steps to build stronger and safer communities and prepare for rising seas, heat, drought, wildfires, extreme weather, and other climate impacts on the way.
See below for tools developed in conjunction with the Georgetown Climate Center to asssist communities in preparing for climate change.
The Adaptation Clearinghouse is an online database and networking site that seeks to assist state policymakers, resource managers, academics, and others who are working to help communities adapt to climate change. The Clearinghouse contains more than 2,000 resources.
The Center regularly partners with organizations, such as the EPA, the Urban Sustainability Directors Netork, the American Society of Adaptation Professionals, and other organizations working on resilience and adaptation issues through the Clearinghouse.
Recognizing that vulnerability to climate change is social as much as it is physical, Georgetown Climate Center supports policy options that address social inequities and climate exposure together. The center is collecting resources that showcase and provide guidance on equitable adaptation in our Adaptation Clearinghouse and is partnering with U.S. cities to explore policy options, such as techniques to encourage more affordable resilient housing, targeting green infrastructure in low-income neighborhoods, and creating local hire programs to ensure resilience investments bring economic benefits.
The Georgetown Climate Center works with state and local governments to develop “heat-smart” communities that are well prepared to cope with rising temperatures — to both help them identify the adaptation choices available and navigate through the legal obstacles they may face in trying to implement different options. Learn more about the Center's law, policy, and on-the-ground work in this area.
Global sea levels could rise three to six feet over the next century. The Center is working with state and local governments to help them become “coast-smart” — that is, better prepared to cope with the threats posed by rising sea levels and higher storm surges. We convene dialogs between states, local governments, and federal agencies to ensure that lessons learned are shared widely to inform future policy actions.
Every year, taxpayers pay hundreds of billions of dollars for transportation and related infrastructure—infrastructure that is becoming increasingly vulnerable to flooding and damage from extreme heat as a result of climate change. The Georgetown Climate Center regularly works with communities, states, and the federal government to address climate change impacts in the transportation sector.
In order to ensure effective adaptation, communities need help identifying and implementing the most appropriate policies. The Georgetown Climate Center is working with a group of local partners to identify the best green infrastructure practices that cities are beginning to experiment with and to translate these lessons into a toolkit in order to share the best practices with communities across the country.
This case study explores the ways that the San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative has worked to facilitate climate action planning across the region and recently has been directing a regional “Resilient Coastlines Project” with federal funding to connect and coordinate local sea-level-rise initiatives in the region. The SDRCC also has been recognized for its work; it received a Climate Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2015 for its innovative partnership model.
This case study explores how the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative has successfully brought attention to how climate change will to issues affect the capital region at local, regional, state and federal levels. The group works to bring stakeholders together to find regional solutions to the impacts of climate change.
This case study explores how the Sierra Nevada Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Partnership has worked to strengthen urban-rural partnerships to build support for investment in forest and watershed health. It also discusses how some of the collaborative’s members work to engage with state agencies on climate policy affecting Sierra communities and natural resources, by providing analysis and comment letters on proposed plans, policies, and legislation.
This case study explores the work that the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative is doing to develop regional framework to support coordinated decisionmaking, identify regional goals for adaptation and mitigation, and develop best practices and policies for achieving them, all informed by downscaled climate science for the region.
This case study explores how the efforts of the King County-Cities Climate Collaborative – which have primarily focused on cutting carbon pollution – have resulted in the adoption of shared countywide greenhouse gas reduction targets. It also explores how the collaborative has helped to produce policy recommendations that local governments in the region could adopt to meet emission reduction goals in specific areas, like electric vehicle usage and commercial energy benchmarking.
This case study explores how the Southeast Florida Climate Change Compact formally established its membership consisting of the four counties themselves, and the Compact counties work to create close partnerships with municipalities and other partners in the region. It also discusses some of the Compact’s key successes including developing a Regional Climate Action Plan, providing guidance and technical support to help municipalities implement the plan, and getting municipalities in the region to sign on to Compact through the “Mayors’ Climate Action Pledge” stating support for the Compact and its regional action plan.
The six winning Hurricane Sandy Design Competition projects were selected to demonstrate innovative approaches for rebuilding communities affected by Hurricane Sandy in ways that will enhance physical, social, economic, and environmental resilience. Two years into implementation, these projects are providing important lessons about how officials at all levels of government can design and construct infrastructure projects that deliver multiple community benefits.
In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the Obama administration, in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation, launched the innovative Rebuild by Design (RBD) competition, which sought to inspire affected communities to rebuild differently in ways that would enhance their physical, economic, social, and environmental resilience. This report aims to capture and share lessons learned from the innovative process for developing the RBD proposals and the novel projects that were generated through this competition.
Reimagining New Orleans Post-Katrina
August 26, 2015
A decade after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, the Georgetown Climate Center examines some of the lessons learned from state and local efforts to use disaster relief funding to rebuild New Orleans’ public schools and stormwater systems to be more resilient and sustainable.
Louisiana: Addressing Sea-Level Rise
August 19, 2015
This case study examines state and local activities to reduce coastal vulnerability from sea level rise, extreme storms, and land subsidence. It focuses on how the state is prioritizing and designing coastal flood protection and restoration projects in consideration of future sea-level rise through the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan, and discusses local efforts to consider climate change in land-use plans including the Lafourche Parish Comprehensive Resiliency Plan and the City of New Orleans Master Plan.
On August 2, 2016, the White House Council on Environmental Quality released final guidance on how federal agencies are to incorporate climate change considerations in their review of federal “actions” under the National Environmental Policy Act.
The Adaptation Clearinghouse was re-launched today with new tools to assist state policymakers, resource managers, academics, and others who are working to help communities adapt to climate change.
The Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) is seeking comment on a proposed rule that would, for the first time, ask states and localities to take natural hazards and climate change into account in their long-range plans for affordable housing and community development. Public comments on the proposed rule are due July 18, 2016.
Georgetown Climate Center Executive Director Vicki Arroyo wrote an op-ed published in The Huffington Post about New Orleans' revival after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city 10 years ago. New Orleans' recovery efforts, Arroyo explains, offer lessons for all communities that use federal disaster recovery dollars to rebuild, adapt, and thrive in the aftermath of climate-related disasters--and ideally, to prepare in advance of such events and avoid the most dire consequences.
Case Studies in Building Community Resilience
August 19, 2015
Explore how sub-national jurisdictions (municipalities, states, and special administrative regions) in the United States and China are taking action to build resilience to natural hazards, extreme weather, and climate change with a series of new case studies produced by the Georgetown Climate Center and Georgetown faculty.
Mayors from fourteen cities in the metropolitan Boston region signed a Metro Boston Climate Preparedness Commitment on May 13, 2015, agreeing to collaborate to prepare the region for the impacts of climate change. The fourteen municipalities will work together to coordinate actions necessary for adapting transboundary critical infrastructure systems, to develop best practices for local governments and policy recommendations for state and federal partners, and to identify funding and investment solutions to take regional action.
Governor Jack Markell released a plan to combat climate change this week, calling for a 30 percent cut in carbon pollution by 2030 and outlining a framework to help the state better prepare for the future impacts of climate change.
On February 20, 2015, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would establish a process for state departments of transportation (state DOTs) to include consideration of climate change and extreme weather-related risks in the development of asset management plans, which are required under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).
President Obama signed an executive order today directing federal agencies to adopt new flood elevation standards for the siting, design, and construction of federal projects.
The new Federal Flood Risk Management Standard will ensure that current and future flood risk, anticipated to increase due to climate change and sea-level rise, will be taken into account in the development of federal projects. The standard is expected to save taxpayers money in the long run by reducing federal disaster assistance spending following extreme weather events.
Lessons Learned from the Great American Adaptation Road Trip
January 26, 2015
After visiting more than 30 communities across the U.S. that are preparing for climate change, two enterprising young authors identify six big lessons from ongoing adaptation work in a new report recently released by the Georgetown Climate Center.
The Harrison Institute's clinical program and Professor Vicki Arroyo's experiential law course offer Georgetown Law students opportunities to work with communities on cutting-edge legal and policy questions regarding...
A panel discussion from the 2011 State-Federal Workshop on Climate and Energy Policy, hosted by the Georgetown Climate Center and the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Moderator: Vicki Arroyo, Georgetown Climate...