Alex Gumm | December 26, 2016
The University of Notre Dame’s Global Adaptation Initiative (ND-GAIN) has announced it will assess the climate vulnerability and readiness of every U.S. city with a population over 100,000 – more than 250 in all – in an effort to help inform decisions by city officials on infrastructure, land use, water resources management, transportation and other adaptive strategies.
The Urban Adaptation Assessment (UAA), a 24-month project funded by the Kresge Foundation, will also integrate a social equity analysis, which will investigate how vulnerable groups are disproportionately harmed by climate hazards, such as extreme heat, flooding and extreme cold.
“Today policy choices regarding how to spend scarce resources to adapt to our changing climate must be articulated without the benefit of seeing how alternative choices will influence local inequities,” said Patrick Regan, associate director of ND-GAIN and professor of political science and peace studies at Notre Dame. “Our data-driven tool will help leaders understand the implications of alternative policy choices and pursue decision-making that builds resilient communities.”
ND-GAIN will collaborate with the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment to compile and analyze each city’s data and produce assessments that focus on urban geographies’ vulnerabilities and how ready cities are to successfully implement adaptation solutions. The project will also examine adaptation patterns among coastal, drought-prone and single-industry cities, among other subsets.