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Cities urged to adopt long-term climate strategies

Boston is among the cities profiled in a new report on climate adaptation in U.S. cities. (Richard Cavalleri/

new report from the Kresge Foundation and Abt Associates concludes that American cities are making progress responding to immediate extreme weather events. But it also advises city leaders to devote more attention to long-term climate adaptation strategies. The report warns that short-sighted emphasis on climate variability and extreme weather events could leave urban environments unprepared for evolving climactic conditions over the long term.

Climate Adaption: The State of Practice in U. S. Communities highlights how 17 U. S. cities — including Boston, Miami and Tulsa, Oklahoma — are strengthening climate resilience. The foundation describes the report as the first in-depth assessment of steps cities are taking to blunt the impacts of storms, floods, heat waves and fires. “These actions provide models and lessons that can immediately help other communities,” the authors write.

Among the conclusions: municipalities should act now to protect themselves from unpredictable weather conditions. City leaders are encouraged to overcome barriers that include limited funding and technical capabilities, lack of data and political gridlock. Creative use of existing regulatory powers and the inclusion of climate considerations into decision-making are among the tactics that can help cities move forward.

(The Kresge Foundation is a funder of Citiscope.)

Kresge Foundation

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