Helping Communities Prepare for Climate Change

Georgetown Climate Center Launches Adaptation Clearinghouse 2.0

Georgetown Climate Center Launches Adaptation Clearinghouse 2.0

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. 

 
Working with Leaders to Implement Equitable Solutions that Make Communities More Resilient

Working with Leaders to Implement Equitable Solutions that Make Communities More Resilient

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.

 
 

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.

 
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Developing and Maintaining the Adaptation Clearinghouse

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.   

Supporting Adaptation that is Equitable and Just

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.

Preparing for Urban Heat Impacts

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.

Preparing for Sea-Level Rise and Flooding Impacts

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.

Preparing for Climate Change Impacts in the Transportation Sector

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.

Working with Citites to Improve Green Infrastructure

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.

 

Preparing for Climate Impacts: Lessons Learned from the Front Lines
July 9, 2014

In this synthesis report to the Kresge Foundation, the Georgetown Climate Center shares some of the lessons learned from its adaptation work in recent years and includes a number of short case studies highlighting successful efforts and barriers to change.

 

20 Good Ideas for Promoting Climate Resilience
June 20, 2014

The 20 ideas contained in this document represent a collection of planning, funding, regulatory, and investment efforts already taking place in different U.S. states and localities to prepare for and reduce the risks of climate change. These ideas offer insights and lessons for all communities to learn from and build upon in developing their own responses to a changing climate.

 

Understanding New Jersey's Vulnerability to Climate Change
February 5, 2014

New Jersey residents are no strangers to the escalating impacts of climate change.  Rising sea levels mean future hurricanes will produce more severe damage, such as the damage produced by Hurricane Sandy.  More frequent extreme weather events, heat waves, and inland flooding from heavier rains also present a growing challenge to the region's economy, environment, and everyday way of life.

 

Lessons Learned from Irene: Climate Change, Federal Disaster Relief, and Barriers to Adaptive Reconstruction
December 20, 2013

This case study examines the challenges encountered by Vermont localities in trying to use federal disaster relief funds to rebuild their transportation system to be more resilient to future impacts in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

 

Federal Funding Compendium for Urban Heat Adaptation
December 20, 2013

This compendium collects and analyzes federal programs with potential to pay for state and local government adaptation to urban heat islands.

 

Case Studies in Floodplain Regulation
May 30, 2013

This Georgetown Law student report highlights the efforts of two communities to strengthen regulations after catastrophic flood events: Cedar Falls, Iowa, and Waveland, Mississippi. These case studies discuss the regulatory reforms the communities implemented and the lessons that can be learned from their experience.

 

Understanding the Adaptation Provisions of the Sandy Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (H.R. 152)
May 24, 2013

Disaster relief funding presents an opportunity for state and local governments to rebuild in a manner that anticipates and responds to future changes in the climate. In most cases, programs funded through disaster relief appropriations, such as the Sandy Relief Act, provide administering agencies with enough authority to prepare for climate changes during the rebuilding process. 

As part of a Georgetown Climate Center analysis of the Sandy Relief Act, the Center has identified the opportunities below to use direct disaster relief funds for adaptive projects that help communities prepare for future climate change impacts.  

 

The State of Adaptation in the United States: An Overview
April 4, 2013

The State of Adaptation in the United States surveys activities underway to help communities prepare for climate change and identifies needs, challenges, and potential actions that communities can now pursue. The report was commissioned by the MacArthur Foundation and was undertaken by the Georgetown Climate Center, EcoAdapt, the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington, and the University of California-Davis. 

 
 

Zoning for Sea-Level Rise
December 13, 2012

To help local communities address the increased flooding expected from sea-level rise and more frequent extreme weather events, the Georgetown Climate Center designed a model sea-level rise ordinance to provide local governments with a template for tailoring regulations to meet the needs of their community and its particularized vulnerabilities.

 

Adaptation Tool Kit: Urban Heat
August 17, 2012

"Adapting to Urban Heat: A Tool Kit for Local Governments" is designed to help local governments reduce the effects of increased heat on their communities and citizens.  It provides an analytic tool for policy makers to consider a combination of four built-environment changes (cool roofs, green roofs, cool pavements, and urban forestry), providing clear criteria for selecting among these approaches. It also examines the roles government can play in pursuing these changes: shaping government’s own operations, mandating or providing incentives for private choices, and engaging in public education.

 

Maryland Finalizes Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 25 Percent by 2020
July 26, 2013

At the Maryland Climate Summit, Gov. Martin O'Malley laid out Maryland's aggressive new plan to reduce carbon pollution. The plan calls for an economy-wide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020,...

 

NYC Building Resiliency Task Force Releases Recommendations
July 2, 2013

The New York City Building Resiliency Task Force recently released its recommendations to improve the resiliency of the City’s commercial buildings, hospitals, multifamily residences, and smaller homes. The...

 

Mayor Bloomberg Introduces Comprehensive Resilience Plan for NYC
July 2, 2013

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently introduced a comprehensive plan, A Stronger, More Resilient New York, to protect the city from coastal storms like Hurricane Sandy that are expected to increase in...

 

Bills Attempting to Roll Back Biggert-Waters National Flood Insurance Program Reforms
June 17, 2013

Several bills have been introduced in the 113th Congress to roll back the insurance subsidy reforms that were included in the Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.1 Biggert Waters reformed the...

 

Understanding the Adaptation Provisions of the Sandy Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (H.R. 152)
May 24, 2013

Disaster relief funding presents an opportunity for state and local governments to rebuild in a manner that anticipates and responds to future changes in the climate. In most cases, programs funded through...

 

Legislative Study Urges Virginia to Launch Coordinated Planning to Avoid Catastrophic Flooding
April 30, 2013

A new study calls on the State of Virginia and coastal localities to launch a comprehensive and coordinated planning effort to avoid catastrophic flooding related to sea-level rise. The report predicts that...

 

New FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps Double Number of Structures in Flood Zones for Parts of New York City
April 30, 2013

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently released updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps for parts of New York City that double the number of structures located in flood zones.  The maps include...

 

Preparing for Climate Changes with Living Shorelines (Webinar)
April 5, 2013

Georgetown Climate Center staff and state experts from Maryland and Alabama recently discussed important opportunities states can pursue to expedite the adoption of living shorelines and better prepare their communities...

 

Boston Harbor Association Releases Sea-level Rise Report, Mayor Responds with Policy Initiatives
February 6, 2013

In a new report, Preparing for the Rising Tide, the Boston Harbor Association finds that before 2100, nearly six percent of the city will be flooded twice daily at high tide. The report’s figures are based on an...

 

National Climate Assessment Report Released
January 14, 2013

On January 11, 2013, the National Climate Assessment Draft Advisory Committee (NCADAC) released a draft of the third National Climate Assessment Report.  The report reinforces previous assessments that our...

 

Georgetown Climate Center Staff and Students Discuss Their Work on Sea Level Rise
November 7, 2012

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...

 

Adaptation Panel from 2011 State-Federal Workshop on Climate and Energy Policy
March 28, 2011

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...