There are a number of workbooks out there that help communities implement resiliency or adaptation programs. It’s important to choose a method that focuses on the municipal scale so the actions and guidance are appropriate to your budget, size, and capacity.
Like most planning projects, the basic steps to follow are: Plan, Do, Check, and Act. Implementing programs like this require fine-tuning and gradual improvement over time based on changing conditions.
Essentially, towns should:
- Identify a Resiliency team (local Conservation Commission, Sustainable CT team, should be cross-departments). See Worksheet of suggested contacts for Resiliency Team.
- Review Existing Plans for Existing Resources & Vulnerabilities (See Worksheet for plans/documents to review) *Consider hosting vulnerability workshop alongside your Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan and/or Plan of Conservation & Development workshops. COGs or initiatives like the Nature Conservancy Community Resiliency Building Workshops can facilitate.
- Review the Rural Resiliency Vision and Establish Local Resiliency Goals
- Incorporate Resiliency Actions into Local Resiliency Goals
- Establish an Implementation & Review Process
Here are some example handbooks:
- ICLEI Preparing for Climate Change Guidebook
- Oregon Climate Change Adaptation Framework 2021
- Community Resilience Manual Resources for Rural Recovery and Renewal Canada
- Climate-Smart Conservation: Putting Adaptation Principles into Practice
- Canadian Institute of Planners, “Climate Change Adaptation Planning: A Handbook for Small Canadian Communities”: Get Started; Analyze How Local Climate Will Change; Scope Potential Impacts; Assess Risks and Opportunities; Prepare Adaptation Plan; Adopt, Implement, Monitor and Review Adaptation Plan (Bowron & Davidson, 2011)
- U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, “Steps to Resilience”: Explore Climate Threats, Assess Vulnerability & Risks, Investigate Options, Prioritize Actions, Take Action.
Public participation is incredibly important in identifying critical resources, communicating risks, and prioritizing adaptation actions. It can be accomplished alongside many other planning processes like updates to the comprehensive plan or the natural hazard mitigation plan.
This would accompany other outreach techniques implemented as a result of your adaptation efforts such as communication protocols for high heat days or outreach to vulnerable populations.
- Urban Planning and the Public Participation Process: Explores the use of technology and social media in planning processes.
- Participation Tools for Better Community Planning: An overview of public participation tools to help communities plan for land use and transportation programs.
- Stakeholder Engagement Tools for Action: An adaptable comprehensive strategy for engaging and maintaining stakeholder input.
Great American Adaptation Road Trip Interesting stories about climate adaptation from around the United States.
National Oceanic Service, NOAA Infographics Focuses mostly on coastal issues but great examples of visual communication