Adapting to Climate Change: Strategies from King County, Washington

King County in Washington State has established a comprehensive program to prepare for climate change, and many of the tools and strategies that King County has employed can be applied in other communities. This Memo from the King County Office of Strategic Planning and Performance Management, published by the American Planning Association, describes strategies developed in King County to direct local government efforts to address climate change.

The guidebook is intended to help planners and decision makers in local, regional, or state governments prepare for climate change by outlining a detailed, easy-to-understand process for climate change preparedness based on familiar resources and tools. A brief action plan for implementing adaptation strategies is included. This action plan is actually a summary of the step-by-step instructions on how to begin a jurisdiction's climate resiliency effort that can be found in "Preparing for Climate Change: A Guidebook for Local, Regional, and State Governments."

In addition, King County has helped to develop the Urban Leaders Adaptation Initiative launched by the Center for Clean Air Policy. This nationwide learning group aims to build greater political power among local and regional governments in order to push a national adaptation agenda. Senior King County staff also participated in the National Academy of Sciences Climate Change Study, to help the federal government shape future approaches to providing actionable climate-related information to local and regional government officials.

Located in the Pacific Northwest, King County is the home of the City of Seattle (not to mention Costco, Starbucks, and Microsoft), as well as 39 cities and numerous county public purpose districts. King County stretches from the shores of Puget Sound to the snow-crested peaks of the Cascade Mountains. In between are 2,000 square miles containing vibrant urban centers, four major river systems, 760 lakes, 3,000 miles of streams, and 1,000 square miles of forest.

Publication Date: April 2009

Author or Affiliated User:

  • Karen Wolf

Related Organizations:

  • King County, Washington
  • City of Seattle, Washington

Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Best practice

States Affected:

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