Lessons in Regional Resilience

January 19, 2017

The Georgetown Climate Center's report, Lessons in Regional Resilience, documents lessons learned from regional climate collaboratives, which are bringing together local governments and other stakeholders to coordinate climate change initiatives at a regional level. 



These collaboratives help communities overcome the limited resources and technical capacity that many cities face and enables them to share resources, leverage expertise, and develop coordinated plans and policy solutions to foster resilience and reduce carbon pollution. While many collaboratives have experienced significant benefits of working regionally, many are still grappling with challenges of identifying the right stakeholders to engage and developing a funding model that can sustain the collaborative’s work over the longer term. 

The Georgetown Climate Center worked with local leaders in six regions to capture the roles and successes of regional collaboratives that are emerging across the country, and developed case studies featuring the following:  

The lessons developed in this report and the case studies are intended to inform both emerging and well-established collaboratives as they seek to maximize effectiveness in their regions and develop organizational structures that will prove sustainable in the long term. The case studies illustrate common themes in how regional collaboratives grow, structure, and bring value to their regions. Each case study explores:

  • the history and impetus for creation of each collaborative,
  • how the collaboratives are structuring themselves and establishing decisionmaking methods,
  • what funding sources are being tapped, and
  • the roles and initiatives each collaborative is pursuing.

A synthesis report, Lessons in Regional Resilience, explores these themes while addressing the challenges and benefits of regional collaboration, drawing on illustrative examples from the individual case studies throughout. The report also discusses factors that might affect how regional collaboratives may evolve their organizational structures as they mature.  For example, the report explores how a collaborative’s organizational structure can affect its eligibility for different sources of federal funding. 

This work was completed in partnership with the five collaboratives pursuing regional adaptation initiatives across California and coordinating through the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation (ARCCA) and with generous support from the Kresge Foundation.