Today, the City of Philadelphia released its first climate adaptation report, Growing Stronger: Toward a Climate-Ready Philadelphia. An important first step toward preparing for a warmer, wetter future, the report details the impacts of climate change on municipal operations, assets, programs and policies and lays out actions that the City can take to mitigate those impacts.
“While world leaders are gathered in Paris to negotiate an international agreement, we are focused on what we can and need to do at the local level,” said Katherine Gajewski, Director of Sustainability for the City of Philadelphia. “The effects of a changing climate are already apparent in Philadelphia. We need to understand what climate change will look like on the ground and how to advance smart, proactive initiatives that will help us to prepare. Climate actions often come with a host of co-benefits that we are eager to identify and incorporate into how we make decisions and investments.”
Growing Stronger is the culmination of a multi-year planning process convened by the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability with the participation of a broad set of City departments and agencies. The report includes:
- Detailed climate projections for Philadelphia: MOS worked with climate scientists to develop detailed projections of the warmer and wetter climate the Philadelphia region can expect over the next 85 years.
- Vulnerability assessment for city-owned assets: Data provided by City departments allowed MOS to evaluate how climate stressors (extreme heat, an increase in winter precipitation, and sea level rise, among others) will impact existing city-owned assets.
- Early implementation adaptation strategies: While ensuring Philadelphia continues to grow and thrive as the climate changes is a long-term process, Growing Stronger identifies strategies the City can undertake now to build resilience into existing programs and future assets.
The report is available online at: http://www.phila.gov/green/pdfs/Growing%20Stronger.pdf