Advancing cities’ strategies for adapting to climate change
The Institute on the Environment is playing a key role in a new study assessing how well more than 250 U.S. cities are positioned to deal with to the threats climate change poses.
Known as the Urban Adaptation Assessment, the two-year research project is a collaboration between the University of Notre Dame’s Global Adaptation Initiative and IonE and is funded by the Kresge Foundation. It will look at how climate change is expected to affect cities with a population over 100,000 and the extent to which those cities are prepared to respond to threats — with the goal of providing city officials with information they can use to make climate-smart decisions regarding transportation, water, infrastructure and land use planning.
IonE director Jessica Hellmann is a co-investigator on this new grant, which expands her previous work funded by the Kresge Foundation to evaluate climate risk and readiness to adapt in cities across the United States. IonE postdoc Martina Grecequet will also contribute to the project.
“To adapt to a changing climate, we will need to build new capabilities and infrastructure,” Hellmann says. “Risk to climate change and readiness to adapt to climate change varies across cities within the U.S., and this project compares 250 cities to shine light on their differential vulnerabilities and readiness. In particular, the project examines vulnerability to climate change and readiness for adaptation actions through a lens of social equity, asking if cities, and neighborhoods within cities, are sharing the burden of climate change and investments in adaptation fairly. With this understanding, cities and other investors can make smart decisions about where adaptation resources are more needed and where they can be applied effectively and equitably.”
Read more about the study here.