Lessons in Regional Resilience: Case Studies on Regional Climate Collaboratives

The Georgetown Climate Center report, Lessons in Regional Resilience, documents lessons learned from regional climate collaboratives, which are bringing together local governments and other stakeholders to coordinate climate change initiatives at a regional level. This synthesis report shares lessons from each of the collaboratives in individual case studies, and offers insight to their goals, planning processes, and funding sources. The report is intended to help local governments consider models for coordinating at the regional level to facilitate planning and action to prepare for the impacts of climate change and draws on examples from six regional collaboratives from around the country. It also explores the benefits that local governments are experiencing by coordinating.

The collaboratives explored in this work are helping communities overcome barriers to adaptation posed by a lack of resources and technical capacity. Collaboratives allow local governments to share resources, leverage expertise, and develop coordinated plans and policy solutions to foster resilience and also reduce carbon pollution. While many collaboratives have experienced significant benefits of working regionally, many are still maturing and learning how to of engage the right stakeholders and develop funding model that can sustain the collaborative’s work over the longer term, among other challenges.

The Georgetown Climate Center worked with local leaders in six regions to capture the roles and successes of regional collaboratives that are emerging across the country. This report synthesizes lessons explored in a series of six case studies documenting the formation and evolution of individual climate collaboratives from around the United States. The case studies (linked below this summary) explored in this series include the following regions:

  • The King-County-Cities Climate Collaboration in Washington State
  • The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative in the six-county California Capital (Sacramento) region
  • The Sierra Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Partnership in the 22-county rural Sierra-Nevada region
  • The Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability in Los Angeles County, California
  • The San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative in San Diego County, California
  • The Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact in the four-county Southeast Florida region

The lessons developed in this report and the case studies are intended to inform both emerging and well-established collaboratives as they seek to maximize effectiveness in their regions and develop organizational structures that will prove sustainable in the long term. The case studies illustrate common themes in how regional collaboratives grow, structure, and bring value to their regions. Each case study explores:

  • the history and impetus for creation of each collaborative,
  • how the collaboratives are structuring themselves and establishing decisionmaking methods,
  • what funding sources are being tapped, and
  • the roles and initiatives each collaborative is pursuing.

A synthesis report, Lessons in Regional Resilience, explores these themes while addressing the challenges and benefits of regional collaboration, drawing on illustrative examples from the individual case studies throughout. The report also discusses factors that might affect how regional collaboratives may evolve their organizational structures as they mature.  For example, the report explores how a collaborative’s organizational structure can affect its eligibility for different sources of federal funding. 

This work was completed in partnership with the five collaboratives pursuing regional adaptation initiatives across California that are coordinating through the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation (ARCCA), and with generous support from the Kresge Foundation.


Publication Date: January 19, 2017

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