Evaluating Urban Resilience to Climate Change: A Multi-Sector Approach (Final Report)

EPA is announcing the availability of this final report prepared by the Air, Climate, and Energy (ACE) Research Program, located within the Office of Research and Development, with support from Cadmus. One of the goals of the ACE research program is to provide scientific information and tools to support EPA’s strategic goal of taking action on climate change in a sustainable manner. This report describes a comprehensive, transparent, and flexible tool that cities can use to identify the greatest risks, successes, and priorities for decreasing urban vulnerability and increasing resilience to climate change. Case studies were conducted with Washington, DC and Worcester, MA to provide examples of the tool’s application. Visualizations facilitate the interpretation of case study results and are intended to further assist city managers in moving to the next step of implementing climate change adaptation activities. The approach can be applied to a variety of different cities to help target and prioritize adaptation planning.

The intended audiences for this report are local and state planners and managers engaged in the development and implementation of urban sustainability and resilience policies and practices, or anyone charged with developing and implementing climate change adaptation plans, and scientists working on climate change adaptation at the local level.

Background

Climate change impacts are diverse, long-term, and not easily predictable. Adapting to climate change requires making context specific and forward-looking decisions regarding a variety of climate change impacts and vulnerabilities when the future is highly uncertain. EPA scientists and their collaborators created an assessment tool to help cities identify climate change risks in eight different municipal sectors. This report describes the tool, the indicators that populate the tool, and its use by cities to explore threats to and measures of communities' resilience to climate change, allowing decision-makers to focus planning efforts on those areas that are least resilient to anticipated impacts. The report also evaluates the tool for its utility as a systematic and flexible method to support adaptation planning for different types of cities.

Citation

U.S. EPA. Evaluating Urban Resilience to Climate Change: A Multi-Sector Approach (Final Report). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., EPA/600/R-16/365F, 2017.

History/Chronology

Sep 2013First Workshop to Assess Urban Resilience - hosted by Washington DC’s District Department of Environment (DDOE).
Nov 2013Second Workshop to Assess Urban Resilience - hosted by DDOE.
Jun 2016EPA released an external review draft for a 30-day public comment period.
Jan 2017EPA released the final report.

This document has been reviewed in accordance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency policy and approved for publication. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.