Steps to Resilience Overview

The Steps to Resilience framework encompasses the considerations and decision-making it takes for engaged stakeholders to gather and use relevant information to enhance their resilience to climate-related impacts. The framework is inclusive of other efforts–not exclusive. 

Steps to Resilience
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What is the Steps to Resilience framework?

The Steps to Resilience framework describes an iterative process to identify and address one's most pressing climate-related vulnerabilities and risk. 

Following the Steps, groups compile a list of the things they care about (e.g., people, ecosystems, and economies) and evaluate which climate-related impacts could harm them. They assess which of their assets are vulnerable and at risk, investigate possible solutions, and make plans to address their greatest concerns. The framework also helps people recognize potential opportunities presented by changing climate conditions.

Circular diagram with "engage" gear at center, with iterative steps to resilience around the perimeter

This circular representation of the Steps reflects the iterative nature of enhancing climate resilience. Adaptation planners may need to return to previous steps repeatedly to consider changing vulnerabilities, even as they take steps to build resilience and reduce risk.  The central gear of engagement shows the importance of continuing to work with the full range of stakeholders.

The framework is compatible with other climate adaptation processes in use by various sectors and across different regions. These Steps were codified as part of the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit to help systematize, compare, and promote resilience-building efforts across the nation.

Whatever methods one uses for building climate resilience, it is essential to evaluate exposure, vulnerability, and risk from climate-related impacts, and integrate the results with other considerations before setting priorities, developing plans, and implementing projects.

Who is in the target audience for the Steps to Resilience?

Success stories

The Steps to Resilience framework has been applied at scales as small as community neighborhoods and as large as entire states. These reports illustrate how the framework was used at various scales: 

Several other cities follow the Steps to Resilience framework to produce and update their Climate Action Plans. For examples, see Case Studies featuring Asheville, North Carolina and Blacksburg, Virginia, or explore the Toolkit's full collection of case studies that describe how businesses, communities, and regional groups across the nation are building resilience. 

What's your starting point?


The Steps to Resilience were inspired by and/or adapted from the following sources:

Last modified
13 January 2023 - 12:56pm