Great Lakes Adaptation Assessment for Cities (GLAA-C)

Conducted from 2011-2014, the Great Lakes Adaptation Assessment for Cities (GLAA-C) was an Integrated Assessment project supported by the University of Michigan Graham Sustainability Institute, the Kresge Foundation, and in collaboration with Great Lakes Integrated Sciences + Assessments (GLISA). The GLAA-C program was designed to work with cities throughout the Great Lakes region to better understand municipal level climate change impacts. The project also helped develop and implement a variety of adaptation measures throughout the region.

The goal of GLAA-C was to bring together researchers and practitioners to develop actionable climate adaptation programs for cities in the Great Lakes region. GLAA-C worked closely with regional partners and urban decision makers to identify adaptation needs, opportunities for action, and relative costs of different response options, to develop and implement climate adaptation strategies. 

This project engaged experts from diverse fields to:

  • develop and enhance climate adaptation planning and strategy development by working with city staff and decision makers from six representative Great Lakes cities. 
  • integrate social and climate science data to enhance city-level adaptation plans, activities, and spatial data and inform existing and future infrastructure investments.
  • create the Cities Impacts and Adaptation Tool that can be used by stakeholders to synthesize, communicate, and apply climate relevant knowledge for urban resilience under different climate scenarios.

Six case studies, including the resources, tools, and work that was completed during the partnership of GLAA-C and the six partner cities it worked with, are captured on a G-LACC case study site.  The six partner cities included Ann Arbor, Michigan; Dayton, Ohio; Flint, Michigan; Kingston, Ontario; Thunder Bay, Ontario; and Toledo, Ohio.  

Developed collaboratively between GLAA-C and Headwaters Economics, the Great Lakes Atlas is an interactive map which shows how the social and economic characteristics of the Great Lakes Region are impacted by regionally specific changes in climate. The map features statistical information on over 225 counties throughout the region. 


The Great Lakes watershed accounts for one-fifth of the world’s fresh water and houses approximately 10% of the US and 25% of Canadian populations (40 million people total). Climate change impacts in the Great Lakes region are anticipated to worsen risks of flooding, reduce water availability and quality, increase problems related to heat stress, and negatively impact economies in cities dependent on tourism and recreation.



Publication Date: 2011

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  • Assessment

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