community planning

Community Response to Climate: Adaptation Planning

Local leaders can identify means to improve community resilience through existing planning, mitigation, response and outreach mechanisms. Adaptation in the context of planning for existing and future hazards often involves adjusting existing programs and policies to minimize current impacts, while also considering new options that can be flexibly implemented over time. An effective plan will not only improve a community’s ability to deal with natural disasters and climate change, but will also document valuable local knowledge on the most efficient and effective ways to reduce risk and improve community resilience.

An adaptation plan:

  1. identifies and assesses the impacts that are likely to affect the community;
  2. develops goals and actions to best minimize these impacts; and
  3. establishes a process to implement those actions

The adaptation planning process should rely on public input and promote coordination with other community activities and needs. Because every community differs in terms of economics, size, governance, land uses and hazards, the planning process will help identify unique problems and solutions specific to a city or town. Developing an adaptation action plan can help a community take a comprehensive approach to finding the best solutions, solve more than one problem with a single solution, and even maintain or improve local environmental and economic integrity.

Much of what a community is currently doing may help reduce impacts of natural hazards and climate change. Local governments throughout Delaware have many land use regulations, conservation measures, and flood control initiatives in place that go a long way towards minimize future disaster losses. Evaluation of these measure to see where they can be coordinated or strengthened and development of a long-term hazards/climate adaptation action plan allow communities to identify additional actions that can be taken now to reduce the future impacts of disasters.

Valuable and useful planning has been accomplished at both the state and local levels to protect people, property, public facilities, and habitat. For example, local governments have developed and incorporated mitigation policies into their local comprehensive plans. However, opportunities remain to make communities more resilient in the face of natural hazards and climate change by more effectively integrating hazard mitigation and climate adaptation planning into day-to-day public land use decisions.

Toolkits and guidance documents have been developed to assist communities in identifying planning, mitigation and adaptation opportunities that will help reduce vulnerabilities to natural hazards and climate impacts. Links to several planning and adaptation references and resources are included below.

Coastal Land Use Planning Resources

Natural Hazard Planning Resources

Climate Adaptation Resources

Delaware-Specific Planning and Technical Assistance

Additional Adaptation Planning Resources

Climate Change Information Portal Navigation

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Community Impacts: Understanding Current Hazards and Future Vulnerabilities Community Responses to Climate: Adaptation Planning
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Page Updated on March 7, 2016