A Climate Change Vulnerability and Risk Assessment for Atlanta, Georgia

This report, a Masters thesis, provides climate change adaptation guidance to local decision makers by identifying vulnerable planning areas within the city and assessing the risks of expected climate impacts. The results of these analyses determined priority objectives for adaptation planning. The report also provides a framework for subsequent adaptation planning phases.

Twenty four planning areas in nine sectors were assessed to determine their vulnerability and risk with regard to climate change. These assessments demonstrated that air quality, water quality, and energy assurance are the most at-risk sectors in the City of Atlanta. The report suggests that increasing resiliency in these areas will require extensive coordination with all levels of government and the private sector, and the failure to properly prepare these planning areas for climate change could result in substantial costs to the city. Several additional planning areas show significant vulnerability and risk. The results of the vulnerability and risk assessments are intended to inform the next phase of adaptation planning.

This assessment identifies the disproportionate impacts of extreme heat, bad indoor and outdoor air quality, waterborne diseases, paratransit disruptions, and limited affordable housing on various vulnerable populations in Atlanta. In particular, the assessment focuses on the health and mobility of the growing elderly population in the city. The author argues for a strategy to increase the resilience of the organizations serving this population, increase collaboration with municipal emergency managers, and employ a redundant warning system.


Publication Date: April 23, 2010

Author or Affiliated User:

  • Amy Morsch

Related Organizations:

  • Duke University


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Assessment

States Affected:


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