• Transportation Resources

Transportation Sector Case Studies

These resources include case studies of adaptation in the transportation sector, developed by the Georgetown Climate Center as part of a cooperative agreement with the Federal Highway Administration. The case studies include examples of how adaptation has been incorporated into decisionmaking at all stages of the transportation lifecycle: assessing vulnerability, planning, design, and operations and maintenance.

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California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) – Green Technologies for Reducing Slope Erosion

January 28, 2010

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Division of Research and Innovation conducted a Preliminary Investigation (PI) to identify strategies for reducing roadside slope erosion and preventing costly slope failures as climate change alters patterns of precipitation in California. The PI found that in general, California is a leader in erosion control and stormwater management, but recommended follow-up research on the effectiveness of specific plants or “green” products that may enhance or improve the nature-based methods for stabilizing slopes that California has already begun to implement.

Related Organizations: California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Chicago Green Alley Handbook

2010

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) authored the Green Alley Handbook to encourage the use of best management practices (BMPs) in and around Chicago alleyways and to address impacts to the city’s infrastructure likely to result from projected increases in precipitation and temperature. The handbook promotes sustainable alley design and adjacent landscaping practices to help reduce flooding and manage stormwater, reduce urban heat, promote recycling, and conserve energy.  

Related Organizations: Chicago Department of Transportation, City of Chicago, Illinois

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Rainscaping Iowa - Permeable Pavement Projects

2010

Rainscaping Iowa, an educational campaign that promotes urban stormwater management practices, encourages the use of permeable pavement by featuring successful installations in the state. By gathering feedback on previous projects, Rainscaping Iowa simultaneously highlights the environmental benefits of permeable surfaces and provides lessons for future installations and maintenance. Importantly, the campaign’s literature describes how permeable paving surfaces can help reduce runoff and improve water quality in the face of changing precipitation and increasing heavy rainfall events.

Related Organizations: Rainscaping Iowa, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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City of Toronto (Ontario, Canada) Climate Change Risk Assessment Tool

2010

The City of Toronto developed its Climate Change Risk Assessment Tool, a software program and review process, to enable Toronto’s service and infrastructure providers to identify climate change risks and assess potential actions to reduce the impacts of climate change on infrastructure. Toronto’s Transportation Services Division (TSD) tested the tool in a 2011 pilot study, examining the impacts on 90 assets and services from seven extreme weather event types over two time horizons. The TSD pilot found that the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events is expected to quadruple the number of extreme risk scenarios by 2050.

Related Organizations: City of Toronto; Ontario, Canada

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Delaware County, Pennsylvania Roadmap for Adapting to Coastal Risk – Transportation Sector

2010

This Roadmap for Adapting to Coastal Risk evaluates climate-related hazards, vulnerabilities, and planning priorities for Delaware County, Pennsylvania. The Roadmap was developed through a workshop for local decision-makers in Delaware County. Infrastructure was one of the topics addressed by workshop participants, which includes the transportation sector.

Related Organizations: NOAA Office for Coastal Management

Resource Category: Planning

 

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California Climate Adaptation Strategy - Energy and Transportation Infrastructure

December 2009

Chapter X of the 2009 California Climate Adaptation Strategy (CAS) summarizes projected climate change impacts to transportation and energy infrastructure in the state, and recommends adaptation strategies to address those impacts. California’s extensive infrastructure system will likely be subject to climate change-related impacts from higher temperatures, shifting precipitation patterns, sea-level rise, and extreme weather events. To adapt to these impacts, the CAS recommends four adaptation strategies for transportation infrastructure: develop a climate vulnerability assessment; incorporate climate change into existing investment decisions; develop design standards to minimize risks; and incorporate climate change considerations into disaster preparedness planning.

Related Organizations: California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), California Natural Resources Agency

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Climate Change and Transportation in Maine

October 14, 2009

This report reviews the best available science on observed and projected climate patterns in Maine, synthesizes the influence of climate change on Maine's transportation infrastructure, and lists the measures the state's Department of Transportation (Maine DOT) will take to address project climate impacts. The report is a preliminary summary of Maine’s proactive approach to transportation planning that addresses climate impacts, positioning Maine DOT to receive support from federal agencies.

Related Organizations: Maine Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Greenworks Philadelphia Plan - Transportation Recommendations

2009

Greenworks Philadelphia is a comprehensive six-year plan (“Plan”) that sets goals for “greening” the City of Philadelphia – increasing the city’s energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving the environmental quality of the city, and adapting to the dangers posed by climate change. This case study focuses only on the transportation-related recommendations included in the Plan – increasing the percentage of city assets in a “state of good repair” and using green infrastructure strategies to improve stormwater management and reduce flood impacts to transportation infrastructure.

Related Organizations: City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Philadelphia Water Department, Columbia University

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Green Infrastructure for Los Angeles: Addressing Urban Runoff and Water Supply through Low Impact Development

April 17, 2009

This report was designed to help the City of Los Angeles use low impact development (LID) techniques to address water quality, flood control, and climate change issues. LID is a strategy for managing stormwater runoff that uses natural drainage features to capture and filter urban runoff. From an environmental standpoint, LID reduces water pollution, replenishes aquifers, and encourages water reuse. From an adaptation standpoint, LID reduces stress on water supply and can provide shade trees, helping to reduce urban heat islands.

Related Organizations: City of Los Angeles, California

Author or Affiliated User: Haan-Fawn Chau

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Environmental Impact Report in San Francisco Bay Area Transportation 2035 Plan: Change in Motion

April 2009

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) completed an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) In order to assess the impacts of proposed transportation investments in the San Francisco Bay Area. The EIR includes a qualitative assessment of potential climate change impacts on the region’s transportation system, with a focus on sea-level rise impacts. It also suggests measures to protect transportation assets from the impacts of climate change. The EIR, finalized in 2009, was part of the development of the MTC’s long-range transportation plan, “Transportation 2035 Plan: Change in Motion.

Related Organizations: California Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)

Resource Category: Planning

 

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