Urban Adaptation

Though climate risks are often discussed at the national scale, urban areas are increasingly seen as having a role in the climate agenda. Despite this need, decision-makers face significant challenges including:

  • Uncertainty of urban climate hazards
  • Lack of measurement to prioritize adaptation actions
  • Lack of data to understand and track urban vulnerability to climate change
  • Difficulty integrating adaptation information into current procedures

Responding to the need for increased urban resilience and adaptation planning, the Urban Adaptation Assessment project, funded by the Kresge Foundation and led by the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative (ND-GAIN), provides an adaptation measurement solution that can be scaled around the world to identify key climate risks and adaptation options for cities.


Many frameworks exist to measure vulnerability to the changing climate at the city level. However, current literature lacks assessment of cities’ capacity to take on adaptation action and to reduce losses and damages arising from climate hazards. This work aims to advance the knowledge of adaptation by building a better understanding of how climate change affects U.S. cities and exploring the connection between adaptive capacities, social inequities, and the impacts of climate disasters.

This research helps elevate climate actions by informing decisions about infrastructure, land use, water resources management, transportation and other policy and funding issues. It aims to prompt a conversation that motivates communities to build a resilient future.

Learn more about the UAA:  Cities  |  Framework & Methodology  |  Ambassadors