ND-GAIN Urban Adaptation Assessment

  • Funded By: Kresge Foundation
  • ECI Investigators: Patrick Regan, Kaitlin Harris

ND-GAIN Urban Adaptation Assessment

Several of the most significant risks worldwide in terms of likelihood and impact are related to adapting to a changing climate. As of 2014, more than 50 percent of the worldwide population is urban, and growing.


Responding to the need for increased urban resilience and effective adaptation planning, the Urban Adaptation Assessment project, funded by the Kresge Foundation and led by the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative, began work to expand the Urban Adaptation Assessment (UAA) from five pilot cities to more than 270 cities in the United States. The 24-month project aims to assess the climate vulnerability and readiness of every U.S. city with a population over 100,000 – in an effort to help ignite conversation on preparing for climate change impacts and to inform decisions on infrastructure, land use, water resources management, transportation and other strategies.


ND-GAIN is collaborating with the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment to compile and analyze each city’s data and produce assessments that focus on cities' vulnerabilities and their readiness to successfully implement adaptation solutions. The project will also examine adaptation patterns among coastal, drought-prone and single-industry cities, among other subsets.


ND-GAIN built upon its advisory committee of leading U.S. adaptation and social equity experts to include input from city stakeholders and community groups. The UAA will also produce a publicly accessible online dashboard, allowing government, corporate and nonprofit leaders to view the assessments and manipulate the data based on their preferences.



By building a forward-looking framework to assess the vulnerability and readiness for U.S. cities, this work presents analysis of each city and comparisons among them to demonstrate the utility of the framework for national and international use. 


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