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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Lessons Learned from Collaborative Transportation Planning for Sea Level Rise in California

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Many of California’s critical transportation infrastructure assets along the coast are vulnerable to sea level rise (Figure 1). Climate adaptation generally and sea level rise adaption specifically entail land-use and transportation decisions that affect multiple jurisdictional levels. These decisions involve many stakeholders, including local, regional, county, state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and individual citizens. Adapting transportation infrastructure to sea level rise requires collaboration among these actors. This is a challenging task given that different agencies and stakeholders have different mandates and priorities, which imply different ways of looking at the common issue of adaptation to sea level rise. Researchers at the University of California, Davis examined four case studies of governance processes formed around transportation assets threatened by sea level rise: a state highway along the San Francisco Bay, a coastal highway and railroad in San Diego County, and the Port of Long Beach. The researchers interviewed stakeholders, consulted policy documents, and organized a workshop with agency stakeholders to identify lessons learned and develop practical suggestions for facilitating collaboration to address sea level rise.

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