City of Portland and Multnomah County, Oregon Climate Change Preparation Strategy

Portland and Multnomah County, Oregon have documented their process of climate change preparation for the region, which has been published in two parts - the Climate Change Preparation Strategy and the Risk and Vulnerabilities Assessment report. The Preparation Strategy is based on the assessment, and identifies priority actions to prepare for climate impacts in the areas of policy development, operations, planning, human services, as well as infrastructure and natural resource management.

The strategy focuses on climate impacts for the City and County while taking an adaptive management approach that can improve resilience to current natural hazards, while also reducing exposure to future climate risks. The strategy establishes 12 objectives for 2030, and identifies many adaptive actions for each objective. The adaptation measures identified across sectors are divided into three categories:

  1. hotter drier summers,
  2. warmer wetter winters, and
  3. building capacity of staff and the public.

One of the strategies in this plan is to: "Promote equity in hazard mitigation, and emergency response and recovery activities, and consider populations most vulnerable to weather-related emergencies in all plans and exercises."

To do this, the plan suggests that planners partner with frontline communities in thinking through policies, and ask the following of any proposed strategy:

  1. What are the desired results or outcomes?
  2. What are the current and historical racial disparities related to the action (or similar actions in the past)?
  3. Does the action involve land or space? If yes, how is any historical connection to the land and the populations who hold such connections considered in decision-making?
  4. Who primarily benefits from the action?
  5. Are racial, ethnic, low-income, disabled, or elderly populations affected by the action? Is there a missed opportunity to reduce existing disparities experienced by these communities?
  6. Are there unintended consequences or negative impacts of this action for racial, ethnic, low-income, disabled, or elderly populations? If so, what are the strategies to mitigate negative impacts?
  7. How does the proposed action promote a) meaningful engagement of those most impacted, and b) transparent, inclusive and empowering collaboration?

The Risk and Vulnerabilities Assessment
 report serves as the foundation for this action strategy, and provides an overview of the science and a more detailed review of the potential impacts to health and human systems, natural systems, infrastructure and the built environment.

The Preparation Strategy is also fundamentally linked to the City of Portland and Multnomah County Climate Action Plan, which integrates the City and County’s work to slow climate change while also preparing for the impacts that are outlined in this report. 


Publication Date: September 16, 2014

Related Organizations:

  • City of Portland, Oregon
  • Multnomah County, Oregon


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Plans (other)

States Affected:


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