• 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 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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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 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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Pennsylvania Climate Adaptation Planning Report – Infrastructure Chapter

March 2010

The Pennsylvania Climate Adaptation Planning Report presents climate adaptation recommendations and strategies developed by stakeholder working groups from key sectors, including the infrastructure sector with a focus on transportation. The Infrastructure working group identified the key focus areas, vulnerabilities and risks to infrastructure assets; and prioritized actions (high, medium or low) based upon specific criteria including cost, timeliness of implementation, political support, data availability, planning, risk level, co-benefits, and risks to public health and safety.

Related Organizations: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Oyster River (New Hampshire) Culvert Analysis Project

March 2010

In this project the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP) performed a vulnerability assessment of the hydrology and drainage system of the Oyster River watershed in southeastern New Hampshire and its capacity to adapt to climate change impacts and increased development. The project used a geographic information system (GIS) based watershed model to identify the road/stream crossing culverts that are vulnerable to failure due to extreme storms with increased precipitation, in combination with development of the watershed.

Related Organizations: New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership, U.S. EPA Climate Ready Estuaries

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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San Diego Association of Governments Climate Action Strategy – Transportation Goal

March 2010

The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) 2010 Climate Action Strategy, intended to guide regional and local policymakers in addressing climate change and preparing for its effects, includes among its goals to “protect transportation infrastructure from climate change impacts. ” The Strategy identifies the climate change impacts most likely to affect the San Diego area, including extreme heat, greater risk of mudslides after wildfires, and sea-level rise and storm surge, and lists policy measures that SANDAG and local governments can take to address them.

Related Organizations: San Diego Association of Governments

Resource Category: Planning

 

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2010 California Regional Transportation Plan Guidelines - Recommendations for Adapting the Regional Transportation System to Climate Change

April 7, 2010

The California Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) Guidelines provides a uniform transportation planning framework for use by Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and Regional Transportation Planning Agencies (RTPAs). The Guidelines cover all aspects of regional transportation planning, with one section offering recommendations for considering climate change. The Guidelines recommend that as a best practice, MPOs and RTPAs should begin to incorporate climate change into their long-range transportation plans.

Related Organizations: California Transportation Commission

Resource Category: Planning

 

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