Coastal cities are the most threatened urban areas because of climate change. San Diego is one city in particular seeking public feedback as it works on developing its climate resilience plan focused on preparing for sea level rise, flooding and drought, extreme heat and wildfires.
The city’s Climate Resilient SD plan will build on its Climate Action Plan. Recently they released a survey seeking residents' anecdotes on how climate change is already impacting their communities. Ultimately, the city is planning to adapt strategies to minimize the city's vulnerability to climate change hazards
Educating citizens on climate resilience. The San Diego Planning Department is aiming to educate its residents about the importance of resilience as well as prepare for it.
"Not everyone even understands the distinction between climate mitigation, which is essentially trying to reduce GHG emissions, versus what we're working on. And it's really: how do we plan our city to make sure that we're in a good position to face these threats that we know are going to happen," said Mike Hansen, the city's planning director.
Other major metropolitan areas such as Boston and New York, preceded San Diego have preceded San Diego in developing climate resilience plans, but their plans and climates differ too much to come up with a single solution.
"We actually have pretty different climates just within the city of San Diego," Hansen said, noting geographies ranging from coast, to mountainous areas, to agricultural lands, to canyons. "So probably compared to most major cities, we have a lot of the different 'issue areas' of climate change that we're really thinking about."
Urban View: The public survey was available in five different languages and had residents answer questions regarding the following topics:
Building a resilient and equitable city.
Connecting communities and informing them about climate impacts.
Recognizing the importance of, and protecting, historic and tribal cultural resources.
Protecting biodiversity and preserving and restoring the natural environment.
It’s important to have a preemptive discussion as the general population and the decision makers are more attuned to the issues they face and can help give local planning, city developers and local governments the resources for the plans that need to be made.