Shifts in weather patterns and increasingly frequent extreme storms are challenging our communities and inspiring the City of Philadelphia to understand how climate change will impact municipal assets and operations. The Office of Sustainability (OOS), along with the Climate Adaptation Working Group (CAWG), a group of City agencies and departments committed to guiding the city’s work to prepare for climate change, commissioned Useful Climate Information for Philadelphia: Past and Future to understand what we need to prepare for. The CAWG and OOS then used the report to help city departments understand climate projections and how they can include the information in their decision-making processes.
Together we then completed Growing Stronger: Toward a Climate-Ready Philadelphia, the City’s first climate adaptation report that assesses vulnerabilities and preparation opportunities for municipal government, and identifies relatively low-barrier and high-impact internal actions we can take while we begin to grapple with larger questions such as how to assess and minimize risks to environmental health, neighborhood investments, and quality of life.
As the City begins to tackle the early implementation opportunities identified in this report, the lessons from our municipal adaptation planning will help Philadelphia begin additional, complementary efforts at the neighborhood level and with partners who manage the critical systems such as the power grid, transportation infrastructure, and food supply, on which government, residents, and businesses all rely. Through this process, we can work together to ensure our city grows stronger even as the climate changes.