Hazards Planning Center

Helping Communities Plan for Climate Extremes

Project Overview

Overcoming the barriers to using climate science in local planning is essential to ensuring communities can adequately prepare for climate change. The American Planning Association (APA), in partnership with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), the Illinois State Climatologist, and the Illinois/Indiana Sea Grant & Midwest Regional Climate Center, worked with four pilot communities in the Chicago metropolitan area to identify barriers to data resources and availability in the planning process.

Through this work, the project partners developed specific guidance for communities throughout the region on how to integrate climate information into local planning and implementation efforts.

Using Climate Information in Local Planning

Cover of Using Climate Information in Local Planning: A Guide for Communities in the Great Lakes.

A Guide for Communities in the Great Lakes

This report outlines how community planners in the Great Lakes can use available data resources, existing science, and current policies and programs to adapt to climate change and its impacts.

The particularities of local politics and community context mean a straightforward "how-to" will be useful only in ideal scenarios. Instead, this guidebook focuses primarily on how communities can develop a framework of their own for mainstreaming climate information, science, and adaptation into their planning efforts.

Local Climate Vulnerability Assessments

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning has developed a series of climate vulnerability assessments for four communities within the Chicago area. These assessments, developed as part of CMAP's Local Technical Assistance program, are designed to integrate into specific plan types at the local level. They are a model for how communities across the Great Lakes can integrate climate science and information into their own plans. These assessments may be downloaded below: