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Cape Cod Parking Lot Removal and Relocation

Several Cape Cod towns and the Cape Cod Commission have taken specific measures to adapt beach parking lots to the impacts of climate change, including extreme storms and sea-level rise that are causing increased beach erosion.    These coastal communities are rethinking “quick fix” repairs to vulnerable parking infrastructure and are instead implementing a variety of soft and hard measures as more permanent solutions to long-term climate change impacts.   Many of the town activities were captured in the adaptation blog “Great American Adaptation Road Trip” by Allie Goldstein and Kirsten Howard, graduates of the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment.

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Toward a Sustainable City: The State of Innovation in Urban Sustainability

September 2013

This report from the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) reviews the current progress in sustainable urban development innovations. USDN is a peer-to-peer network of 120 municipal government sustainability professionals and 400 of their staff members in cities and counties in the U. S. and Canada.   This report describes the emergence and implications of the comprehensive field of urban sustainability across the public, private, nonprofit, and academic sectors, where innovation is a driving force.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Peter Plastrik, Julia Parzen

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Participatory mapping for adaptation to climate change: the case of Boe Boe, Solomon Islands

September 2013

Critics of top-down, expert-driven approaches to adaptation suggest the need for tools and methods capable of addressing the gap between scientific and local understanding of climate change. After a lengthy period in which participatory mapping in the context of climate change was overlooked, attention has now turned to Participatory Three-Dimensional Modeling (P3DM) for adaptation planning. P3DM consists in a community-based process resulting in a 3D-scaled and geo-referenced relief model. Because of its relative accuracy and the possibility of being translated to Geographic Information Systems (GIS), P3DM adds credibility to locally produced content and provides a platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue.

Author or Affiliated User: Antonella Piccolella

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Overwhelming Risk: Rethinking Flood Insurance in a World of Rising Seas

August 13, 2013

In this report the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) reviews the risk of sea level rise as related to the coastal insurance market. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is described as essentially the only provider of flood insurance for homeowners and small businesses, and UCS analyzes the program’s capacity and limitations. Recommendations are made to address managing coastal flood insurance by the NFIP, and as related to FEMA’s overall role as well. 

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Building Resilience in Boston: Best Practices for Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience for Existing Buildings

August 7, 2013

This report was prepared for the Boston Society of Architects and the Boston Green Ribbon Commission Climate Preparedness Working Group, and discusses how to better incorporate climate change, preparedness, and resiliency into Boston’s building practices. The report addresses Boston’s population and built environment and, specifically, their vulnerabilities such as variations in the age and construction of the city’s building stock and the populous communities built on infill land and in other low-lying areas.

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Seattle, Washington Department of Transportation (Seattle DOT) Elliott Bay Seawall Project

November 2013

The City of Seattle (City), through its Department of Transportation (SDOT), began a project to replace an aging seawall in Elliott Bay that protects and supports critical transportation infrastructure from coastal storms and shoreline erosion.   The original seawall was built between 1916 and 1934 atop timber piles and is at risk of failure in the event of an earthquake due to years of deterioration of the timber caused by waves and tidal forces. The updated seawall will have a minimum 75-year lifespan, provide protection for critical infrastructure (taking sea-level rise into consideration), meet current seismic standards, and improve natural habitat and salmon migration pathways.

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Rebuilding Minnesota Highway 210 near Jay Cooke State Park

November 2013

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) implemented several different solutions to address damage to Minnesota Highway 210 near Jay Cooke State Park to improve the future resilience of the highway. Measures include custom culvert design, soil stabilization, and replacing culverts with bridges. Multiple sections of Highway 210 remain closed while MnDOT conducts damage assessments and develops long-term plans.

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Cost-Efficient Adaptation in the North Atlantic

October 2013

This report summarizes the work of two NOAA-funded graduate fellows research on community-level coastal flood management and climate change adaptation best practices throughout the North Atlantic region (Virginia to Maine). This year-long Sea Grant partnership with NOAA’s North Atlantic Regional Team (NART) has identified low-cost, innovative ways that coastal communities are addressing climate change and related coastal hazard management best practices at the local level. The team looked at studies, laws, policies, outreach tools, and infrastructure investments that were voluntarily adopted by 34 local municipalities, and developed a report to share this information more broadly.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Judd Schechtman, Michael Brady

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U.S. GAO Climate Change report: Future Federal Adaptation Efforts Could Better Support Local Infrastructure Decision-Makers – Transportation Findings

May 14, 2013

The U. S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report that analyzed findings on the impacts of climate change on the nation’s infrastructure, including roads and bridges, and provided recommendations for Executive action to improve the resilience of the nation’s infrastructure. To develop the report, the GAO analyzed National Research Council (NRC) and the U. S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) climate change assessments and reports, conducted interviews with professional and agency stakeholders, and went on site visits to seven locations where adaptation measures have been integrated into infrastructure project planning.

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Clean and Resilient Marina Guidebook

May 2013

Produced by the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA), this guidebook aims to ensure the viability of the marine and boating businesses in the Gulf states of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and Texas facing extreme weather, sea level rise, flooding and erosion. The goal of the Clean and Resilient Marina Guidebook is to provide uniform standards for the resiliency of marinas across the Gulf’s coastal states and to complement existing Clean Marina Programs in these states. A Resilient Marina Task Force was developed with members representing state coastal zone management programs as well as Sea Grant universities from each of the participating GOMA states.

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