Incorporating Climate Adaptation in Local Plans in Fairfield and New Haven Counties, CT

Authors: Joanna Wozniak-Brown*, University of Connecticut
Topics: Hazards and Vulnerability
Keywords: Adaptation, Local Planning, Regional Planning, Sea level rise, Mixed Methods
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM
Room: Virtual 7
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Without state or federal mandates, municipalities and regional planning agencies have wide discretion on the degree to which they plan for climate change and specifically for climate adaptation or resilience. There is a wide range of between no-action and detailed geography-wide plans. Using Fairfield and New Haven Counties in Connecticut as a case study, I reviewed local comprehensive plans and Natural Hazard Mitigation Plans across 49 municipalities and four councils of governments for inclusion and depth of climate change into existing planning mechanisms. Of these communities, there are 19 designated within the Connecticut Coastal area by state statute. The highlights and findings from this work provide multiple insights on incorporation of adaptation into local and regional planning, differences between localities based on size and proximity to the coast, and opportunities to enhance existing processes.

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