Austin, Texas Climate Resilience Action Plan for City Assets and Operations

The Climate Resilience Action Plan for Austin, Texas provides an assessment of extreme weather impacts to City-owned assets and operations, and outlines strategies for the City of Austin’s long-range planning in response to current and projected climate change. The plan describes climate adaptation strategies for the City’s Utility Infrastructure (electric, water, wastewater and telecommunications), Transportation Infrastructure, and Community Facilities. 

A Climate Resilience Team of staff from multiple City of Austin departments conducted a vulnerability assessment of these major City assets and facilities, and the results are illustrated in the report. The focal climate impacts assessed include extreme weather events, such as extreme heat, drought, flooding and wildfire impacts.

The plan comprises four key strategies, or Resilience Action Areas, to increase climate resilience of city assets and operations:

  • Strengthen emergency response
  • Expand staff safety plans
  • Evaluate and upgrade existing facilities and infrastructure
  • Future-proof new facilities and infrastructure

Each of these primary strategies are described with Austin’s Current Efforts to support resilience, as well as Recommendations of key actions the city can take going forward. These actions are outlined in greater detail in tables for each of the four Action Areas. For example, some of the strategies to Future-proof new facilities and infrastructure include:

To Design for Resilience: 

Phase 1 (2018-2020) - Passive Survivability: Develop Passive Survivability Guidelines for capital projects in areas projected to be impacted by climate hazards.

Phase 2 (2020-2030) - Resilience Hubs: Co-locate new community facilities in low- to moderate- income areas lacking access to City facilities and services. Ensure new facilities have the capacity to serve as shelters, evacuation centers, and/or disaster response hubs during emergencies and as community centers offering needed City services and resources for the surrounding community.  

 

The Georgetown Climate Center developed a case study for Austin in 2015 which reviews how the city agencies were then preparing for climate change impacts to water supply and drought. It examines the process for Austin that led to this climate resilience plan including how city agencies were developing the plan, assessing climate change risks across sectors, establishing of a Water Resource Planning Task Force, and developing recommendations to address long-term reductions in the city’s water supply in response to recent city council resolutions.  

 

Publication Date: April 2018

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  • City of Austin, Texas

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  • Adaptation plan

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