Smart Growth Fixes for Climate Adaptation and Resilience
This tool—a downloadable PDF—can help local government officials, staff, and boards find strategies to prepare for climate change impacts through land use and building policies. These policy options bring multiple short- and long-term environmental, economic, health, and societal benefits that can not only prepare a community and its residents and businesses for the impacts of climate change, but also improve everyday life.
The strategies can be worked into a community’s regular processes and policies—for example, through scheduled updates to zoning and building codes. This approach allows incremental change, which might be easier for some communities because it costs little or nothing extra compared to “business as usual” and gives communities the opportunity to adjust codes based on the most up-to-date climate observations and projections.
The policy options address adapting to flooding and extreme precipitation, sea level rise, extreme heat, drought, and wildfire. To help readers determine which policy and code changes might be appropriate for their community’s capacity, desire, and need to make changes, the options in each chapter are categorized as modest adjustments, major modifications, and wholesale changes. Most chapters include quick tips called “practice pointers,” examples of communities implementing the policies, resources, and a “Guidance and Metrics” section that references relevant credit summary language and metrics from up to three community-scale sustainability rating systems.