4 Paths to Building Resilient Cities and Counties

4 Paths to Building Resilient Cities and Counties

Resilient communities are better able to bounce back from disasters and disruptions in a sustainable way and maintain a good quality of life for all. They are better prepared for uncertainties and able to adapt to changing conditions.

There is no one-size-fits all approach to building resilience, because the challenges our communities face vary from place to place. Local governments define their own goals based on local priorities. But many leading cities and counties have prioritized the follow actions in response to extreme weather, energy, and economic challenges.

1. Prepare for Climate Change and Extreme Weather

  • Evaluate local vulnerabilities to extreme weather and a changing climate, from heat waves and air pollution to droughts and floods.
  • Adopt and implement preparedness policies that protect vulnerable populations and natural resources from extreme weather and other climate impacts.
  • Reduce the carbon emissions causing destructive extreme weather to help reverse climate change and avoid the costs of adapting to more severe climate impacts.

2. Expand Renewables and Energy Efficiency

  • Transition to a renewable energy future to achieve greater energy independence, protect communities from price spikes, and ensure more reliable power during heat waves and other disruptions. Create new jobs in the process.
  • Implement energy efficiency programs that help residents, businesses, and municipal government save money and energy, lower carbon emissions, and reduce demand on the grid during severe weather events.

3. Renew and Strengthen Infrastructure

  • Upgrade or protect critical infrastructure against extreme weather and other threats.
  • Create new models to finance improvements and manage risks to community assets through engagement with the private sector.
  • Harness innovations in information technology and green infrastructure to optimize performance and reduce costs through more efficient operation.

4. Strengthen the Local Economy

  • Work to retain and attract investment by safeguarding businesses from extreme weather and ensuring reliable access to energy, water, and other key resources.
  • Support the private sector in creating more diversified local economies that are more resilient to economic downturn, through job creation in sectors such as clean energy, advanced manufacturing, and local agriculture.

Fact Sheet: Local Governments, Extreme Weather, and Climate Change

View our fact sheet on how 20 leading cities and counties have experienced extreme weather and climate change impacts in recent years, and how they are responding with initiatives on climate adaptation, climate mitigation, disaster preparedness, renewable energy, and more.

Get the Fact Sheet >> (pdf)