New Report Highlights Adaptation Efforts in U.S. Communities

November 16, 2016

Communities across the nation are implementing innovative approaches to protect residents from the impacts of climate change, providing models and lessons that can be applied across the country according to a report released today by Abt Associates and The Kresge Foundation, which commissioned the report.

The Georgetown Climate Center’s Vicki Arroyo and Jessica Grannis contributed to this report.

Climate Adaptation: The State of Practice in U.S. Communities is the first study to examine, in depth, actions that multiple municipalities are taking to address such climate-change fueled events as flooding, heat waves, wildfires and intense storms.

The study found more municipalities are preparing for climate risks than is conventionally believed, many of those actions support multiple community goals and values, and despite the progress, much more work is necessary to comprehensively address climate risks.

The report analyzes efforts currently underway, the motivations for action, and how communities have moved beyond planning to action. Research for the report included an extensive review of technical and professional literature and interviews with 50 leaders in fields relevant to community-based adaptation. It includes separate case studies of distinct adaptation actions in 17 communities across the country – from forest thinning in Flagstaff, Arizona, to neighborhood capacity building in Cleveland, Ohio.

In addition to the broad lessons and conclusions, 17 separate community case studies were published as part of the report. Each case study is an exhaustive profile of a single adaptation action in that community.

Case study communities are:

  • Avalon, New Jersey
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Chula Vista, California
  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • El Paso County, Texas
  • Flagstaff, Arizona
  • Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Miami-Dade, Florida
  • Coastal Mobile County, Alabama
  • Norfolk, Virginia
  • Oakland, California
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Southwestern Crown, Montana
  • Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma


Photos from the Release Event: