Community-Based Climate Adaptation Planning: Case Study of Oakland, California
There is growing recognition that some degree of climate change is now unavoidable and all regions, sectors, and people are vulnerable to climate change impacts to varying degrees. In response, a variety of stakeholders, from local governments to social justice groups and corporations, are beginning to think about adaptation strategies to help reduce their risk. Adaptation planning it still in its infancy and local governments are struggling with how to navigate the planning process. A handful of communities in the United States have embarked on planning efforts and have engaged the local community in some manner. Here, we provide a detailed analysis of climate impacts, vulnerabilities, and adaptation options in a major economic center: Oakland, California. The goal of this study is to inform the development of a comprehensive and equitable climate adaptation plan effort. This research project engages active members of the Oakland Climate Action Coalition, including community-based organizations and resident leaders, in analyzing both the impacts of, and social vulnerabilities to, climate change. Further, it enumerates adaptation strategies that can be implemented at the local level, discusses their advantages and disadvantages, and identifies social equity concerns. Finally, it identifies trends and best practices in climate adaptation planning processes, focusing specifically on their efficacy in engaging the broader community and in addressing the needs of all residents, especially the most vulnerable. This paper is meant to serve as a tool for both city planners and community members everywhere, as they work in tandem to develop more equitable and resilient cities for the climate of the future.