And Five More Adaptation Planning Ideas
- It's not "climate adaptation." It's protecting the health of our vulnerable seniors, keeping our critical roads, airports, etc. in use, saving our bay, making sure we have enough water (homes/agriculture/wildlife), keeping the power on through big storms...
- Listen first. What is important to you and your community right now? (Probably not "climate change.") What changes--weather, animals, growing season, etc.-- are you noticing in your neighborhood, community, or region?
- Personal relationships. We are often way too in love with our plans, strategies and science. (Problem: My slides didn't convince them. Solution: more slides!) At least half the battle to really move a community to adaptation work is who trusts you, who you know, etc. Similarly, a few great and trusted champions can turn a whole room.
- Mainstreaming. Make sure that climate impacts are not seen as something separate and exotic, but are integral parts of general plans, zoning codes, hazard/disaster mitigation plans, transportation plans, infrastructure maintenance plans, etc. Show overworked public agency staff that they are already considering/doing some of things--now climate adds another element or twist.
- Is this plan necessary? Most local government planning departments aren't exactly awash in resources these days. A call for a comprehensive adaptation plan may go 100% nowhere or, if undertaken, become just a recipe for "shelf candy." Instead, look at the 2-3 most pressing issues in a community and focus on them first. Or, pick one initial topic that looks like an easy winner.