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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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Pringle Creek (Salem, Oregon) Green Streets Initiative

2006

In 2006, the community of Pringle Creek, Oregon installed porous pavements on 100 percent of its streets, called its “Green Streets” iniative. The project combined a variety of green infrastructure techniques such as rain gardens and bioswales, with porous pavements to mitigate flooding of Pringle Creek streets during heavy precipitation events. The green infrastructure techniques used by the community are designed to return 90 percent of rainwater to the local aquifer, as opposed to flowing as runoff to community storm sewers.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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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Risk Assessment of Toronto’s Culverts Using the Canadian Public Infrastructure Engineering Vulnerability Committee (PIEVC) Protocol

December 2011

The City of Toronto utilized a risk assessment tool to help evaluate the risk of climate impacts on the City’s culverts. The PIEVC Protocol, developed by the Canadian Public Infrastructure Engineering Vulnerability Committee (PIEVC), is a step-by-step protocol in which risk scoring systems incorporate climate modeling data to outline explicit procedures to help engineers design a particular structure to withstand current and future climatic conditions. Although this study evaluated only three Toronto culverts, the results can be used to assist Toronto in incorporating climate change adaptation into the design, development and management of all of its culverts - and could be applied in other municipalities as well.

Related Organizations: City of Toronto; Ontario, Canada

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Iowa Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Report – Findings Related to Infrastructure

2011

The Iowa Climate Change Adaptation & Resilience Report identifies barriers to and incentives for incorporating climate change information into local hazard mitigation and comprehensive planning processes, in order to improve community resilience to climate impacts through coordinated planning, hazard assessment, and infrastructure investment decision-making. The report presents the findings of a pilot project between the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Iowa stakeholders, developed through a series of meetings and workshops.

Related Organizations: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Resource Category: Planning

 

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The Infrastructure and Climate Network (ICNet)

The Infrastructure and Climate Network (ICNet) brings together climate scientists, engineering researchers, private practitioners, and transportation officials to support adaptation in the transportation sector in the Northeast US.   The focus of ICNet is to deliver data, tools, partnerships, and education to help transportation agencies understand potential climate impacts to the transportation system and identify engineering solutions to prepare roads, bridges, and other infrastructure for the effects of climate change.

Related Organizations: University of New Hampshire

Resource Category: Organizations

 

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New York Metropolitan Transportation Council’s Plan 2040: A Shared Vision for Sustainable Growth

September 4, 2013

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council’s (NYMTC) Regional Transportation Plan (Plan 2040) looks at strategies for incorporating climate change resilience throughout the entire transportation system. Chapter 2. 5 of the plan discusses “Resiliency and Climate Adaptation Strategies” for the NYMTC region. Plan 2040 reviews the NYMTC region’s jurisdictions to identify vulnerability assessments and resiliency plans, establish common goals, and make recommendations for strategies and projects under the region’s transportation improvement program (TIP) that will improve the resiliency of the system.

Related Organizations: New York Metropolitan Transportation Council

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Monterey County's Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan

June 2015

Monterey County, Calif. , and its twelve incorporated municipalities have integrated climate change into their combined Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan (“the Plan”).   Hazard Mitigation Plans guide state and local efforts to reduce disaster losses of life, property, and infrastructure, including transportation assets.   Home to more than 400,000 people, Monterey County sits along the California coast, where it faces numerous climate-connected—often-interrelated—threats, including sea-level rise, coastal erosion, flooding, wildfires, and landslides, which can all affect transportation.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Cape Cod Commission’s Adaptation Planning Activities for the Regional Transportation System

July 2015

The Cape Cod Commission (“Commission”) has begun to systematically consider the long-range impacts of climate change as it works to guide regional transportation- and development-planning efforts for an iconic but vulnerable area of coastal Massachusetts. The Commission is responsible for directing regional land-use policy, regulating developments whose impacts cross town boundaries, and supporting the 15 Cape Cod municipalities that make up Barnstable County with planning and technical expertise.

Related Organizations: Cape Cod Commission

Resource Category: Planning

 

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