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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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FHWA-HEP-12-010: The Use of Climate Information in Vulnerability Assessments

January 2011

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) memorandum “The Use of Climate Information in Vulnerability Assessments” provides guidance on how to access and use historical climate change information and projections of future climate conditions when performing vulnerability assessments for transportation systems. This memorandum describes several sources of climate information and technical assistance, and provides recommendations on how transportation planners can use this information as they consider their climate-related risks.

Related Organizations: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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PANYNJ Assessment of the Vulnerability to the Impacts of Climate Change

April 2011

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) conducted a vulnerability and risk assessment of the agency’s critical infrastructure to the anticipated effects of climate change, including sea-level rise and increased storm surge, precipitation, and temperatures.   PANYNJ analyzed climate-related vulnerability and level of risk for a wide variety of agency infrastructure, including airports, marine terminals, tunnels and bridges, rails, bus stations, and other facilities.   The risk analysis was used to prioritize the highest risk assets and develop adaptation strategies for those assets.

Related Organizations: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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New York City’s MTA Adaptations to Climate Change – A Categorical Imperative

October 2008

New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) commissioned this report, “MTA Adaptations to Climate Change: A Categorical Imperative,” to provide a risk-based framework for adapting MTA facilities to climate change impacts.   The assessment covers the entire MTA region, which includes New York City, 12 counties in southeastern New York, and two counties in southwestern Connecticut. Specifically, the report identifies steps for completing a vulnerability assessment; develops climate change scenarios for the region; conducts an initial survey of key vulnerabilities of MTA assets and operations by agency and type of hazard; and offers recommendations for ways that the MTA can assess critical infrastructure, plan for, and implement climate change adaptation projects.

Related Organizations: New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), City of New York, New York

Authors or Affiliated Users: Klaus Jacob, Cynthia Rosenzweig, Radley Horton, David Major, Vivien Gornitz

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Estimating Future Costs for Alaska Public Infrastructure at Risk from Climate Change

June 2007

The Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Alaska Anchorage created a model to estimate how much climate change could add to the costs of maintaining public infrastructure in Alaska in the near future (by 2030). This report describes how that model was developed, and presents preliminary estimates of additional public infrastructure costs resulting from climate change. The report concludes that a changing climate could make it 10 to 20 percent more expensive to build and maintain infrastructure, and that climate change induced damages could add $3.

Related Organizations: University of Alaska Anchorage, Institute of Social and Economic Research (University of Alaska-Anchorage)

Authors or Affiliated Users: Peter Larsen, Scott Goldsmith, Orson Smith, Meghan Wilson, Ken Strzepek, Paul Chinowsky, Ben Saylor

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Report: “Climate Change Will Impact the Seattle Department of Transportation”

August 9, 2005

Seattle’s Office of City Auditor conducted a review of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to identify potential operations, services or structures that could be significantly impacted by anticipated changes in the climate of the Pacific Northwest region. The resulting report “Climate Change Will Impact the Seattle Department of Transportation” is designed to assess the potential impacts on Seattle’s transportation operations and infrastructure, raise awareness, and assist policymakers in developing adaptive strategies.

Related Organizations: Seattle Department of Transportation, University of Washington, City of Seattle, Washington

Authors or Affiliated Users: Wendy K. Soo Hoo, Megumi Sumitani, Susah Cohen

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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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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Climate Change Adaptation in the Metropolitan Washington Region: Draft Transportation Sector Vulnerabilities

August 2011

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) Transportation Vulnerability Assessment was developed as part of a broader climate change adaptation initiative.  This preliminary vulnerability assessment for the transportation sector identifies the possible climate impacts to the transportation sector, including roads and bridges, rail, facilities and buildings, bicycle and pedestrian buildings, and airports.

Related Organizations: Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG, COG)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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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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Climate Change Impact Assessment for Surface Transportation in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska

January 2012

The Climate Change Impact Assessment (Assessment) provides a preliminary analysis of the vulnerabilities posed by climate change to the surface transportation infrastructure system in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska region. The Assessment demonstrates a method that planners, engineers, and other agency decision makers can follow when assessing the impacts of climate change on surface transportation in their jurisdiction. The Assessment was conducted for the Region X Northwest Transportation Consortium for transportation policymakers and professionals in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

Related Organizations: Region X Northwest Transportation Consortium , Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Washington State Department of Transportation, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC), Idaho Transportation Department, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Authors or Affiliated Users: John MacArthur, Philip W. Mote, Jason Ideker, Miguel Figliozzi, Ming Lee

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Sea-Level Rise: A Transportation Vulnerability Assessment of the Wilmington, Delaware Region

July 2011

This assessment was prepared by the staff of the Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO), the Metropolitan Planning Organization for New Castle County, Delaware and Cecil County, Maryland, to identify the vulnerabilities of the area’s transportation infrastructure to climate change. The body of the report is broken into five chapters:  background, methodology, regional impacts, cluster (neighborhood level) profiles, and policy recommendations.  

Related Organizations: Wilmington Area Planning Council

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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