Implementing Climate Change Adaptation: Lessons Learned From Ten Examples

Many municipalities across the United States are struggling to plan and implement their climate adaptation strategies. Some observers have pointed to a lack of capacity at the local level to explain these difficulties. Local planners and officials are often unsure of where and how to begin engaging in climate adaptation process. Leaders may also wonder which policies to adopt, and how to institutionalize and finance the implementation of their climate adaptation plans. This 2012 report shares a few compelling examples from communities that are responding to climate change and moving beyond planning to doing.

Inside the report, ten communities are profiled to glean insight into their climate adaptation planning and implementation efforts. Each profile is based upon information drawn from a combination of interviews with the key city and county government staff who were closely involved in the formulation of the climate adaptation plans, and a supplemental review of the adaptation planning documents and other relevant sources.

The report features profiles of following communities:

• Boulder (city and county), Colorado
• Chicago, Illinois
• Chula Vista, California
• Eugene, Oregon
• Keene, New Hampshire
• Miami-Dade County, Florida
• New York, New York
• Olympia, Washington
• Portland, Oregon
• Taos, New Mexico

"Implementing Climate Change Adaptation: Lessons Learned from Ten Examples" was researched and authored, in 2012, by the staff of Headwaters Economics , a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving community development and land management decisions in the West. Additional assistance was provided by Jessica Lage, consultant and international climate adaptation specialist.

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