Comprehensive Vulnerability Assessment Template and Scenario Development for Great Lakes Cities
This project was funded by an Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) Innovation Fund grant and was a continuation of GLISA’s work with Great Lakes cities (i.e., the Great Lakes Adaptation Assessment for Cities or GLAA-C). It was also the first externally funded project with the boundary organization GLCAN, an advocacy network created within USDN focusing on urban adaptation (see Urban Adaptation). Project outputs are available on the USDN website. An extension of this project, Neighborhoods at Risk, is a flexible climate risk planning tool developed by Headwaters Economics from an Innovation Fund grant. It is designed to “provide access to up-to-date, practical, neighborhood-level information about at-risk people and their vulnerability to the impacts from climate change”. Tool users can map neighborhoods “using criteria for climate risks and socioeconomic stressors–including age, race, and income–overlaid with factors such as extreme heat, proximity to floodplains, and canopy cover”. The tool is currently available for 18 cities, with plans for deployment for all U.S. cities. GLISA recently received funding from the NOAA Sectoral Applications and Research Program (SARP) to continue the vulnerability assessment template work and apply the template to stormwater management with 12 cities in the Great Lakes. We are also pursuing funding to scale up the template for cities in other regions of the U.S. (i.e. Gulf coast).
HRWC, in partnership with GLISA and GLCAN, developed a comprehensive vulnerability assessment template for five Great Lakes cities to incorporate climate and socio economic information into existing planning processes. GLISA provided tailored local climate information for each of the five cities as part of the template. As of 2018, two participating cities, Cleveland and Indianapolis, completed their vulnerability assessment and used it to develop city-wide Climate Action Plans. GLISA produced a case study that highlights the VA template project as a model for the sustainable coproduction of climate information. Developed in collaboration with Michigan Sustainability Cases, the case is co-authored by Great Lakes city planners and watershed managers. It features several media components, including a video, podcast, and interactive diagram illustrating the role of boundary organizations in the project. The project was also featured in the Midwest chapter of the Fourth National Climate Assessment as a Great Lakes case study on vulnerability and adaptation.
Cleveland, OH updated their city-wide Climate Action Plan using the information from the assessment. Indianapolis, IN created a combined Climate, Sustainability, and Resilience Plan built on information from the assessment and use the template’s climate and socioeconomic vulnerability data as justification for resilience actions in city planning. The Climate Action Resilience Plan (CARP) working group of the city of Evanston, IL relies on the VA template as their first source of information. The city was appreciative of the amount of time and resources that the customized climate summary save them since they did not have to locate, evaluate, and analyze climate data themselves. The information was already provided to them in a format that was easily understandable to a general audience, so the CARP group uses climate information directly from the template to communicate impacts to the broader community.
Project Partners: Matt Naud, City of Ann Arbor & Great Lakes Climate Adaptation Network; Rebecca Esselman, Huron River Watershed Council; Missy Stults, City of Ann Arbor
GLISA Contact: Kim Channell, Climatologist: email@example.com