Planning for Climate Resilience City of Asheville, North Carolina: Phase I Assessment

The City of Asheville, North Carolina has identified climate-relate threats and hazards in this assessment to inform Asheville's climate resiliency planning efforts. The city used the information from the Assessment in updating its comprehensive plan, "Living Asheville," which was adopted in June 2018.

To develop the Assessment, a 31-member planning team convened from June to December 2016. The planning team included city staff from 14 different municipal departments, including: Fire and Police, Public Works, Stormwater Services, Information Technology, Community Development, Parks and Recreation, Capital Projects, Water Resources, and Sustainability.

The Assessment considered seven primary climate threats to the city: riverine and nuisance flooding, landslides, wildfire, water shortage, heat waves, and supply chain interruptions. It also considered threats to 14 types of community assets: transportation infrastructure including roads, bridges, and transit; city-owned facilities; commercial, industrial and residential properties; critical infrastructure; energy supply chains; food infrastructure; water supply; and natural resource areas, including parks, recreational areas and greenways. Each asset was assessed for vulnerability and risk to different climate threats.

100 options for building city resilience were considered and prioritized using evaluation criteria, including the following:

  • Hazard mitigation and emergency response: use climate information to update hazard mitigation plans and work with emergency management agencies to enhance response and recovery programs associated with climate threats.
  • Ordinances and design standards: increase stormwater and flood control measures and update development ordinances pertaining to flood risk and steep slopes.
  • Infrastructure: build resilience to heat and flooding into city-owned buildings, use green infrastructure strategies to upgrade stormwater management practices, improve water supply and distribution systems, analyze capacity to address threats to road and bridge infrastructure.
  • Education and Outreach: promote climate resilience best practices through education and communication strategies and develop partnerships to promote green infrastructure.
  • Natural Areas: increase adaptive capacity through improvements to landscape resilience.
  • Supply Chains: prepare and plan for supply chain interruptions through regional partnerships.


The Assessment was prepared by the University of North Carolina's National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (UNC-NEMAC).


Publication Date: June 1, 2017

Related Organizations:

  • UNC Asheville's National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC)
  • City of Asheville, North Carolina

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Resource Types:

  • Assessment

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