Not New York City? Addressing Adaptation Challenges in America’s Small Cities and Towns

Not New York City? Addressing Adaptation Challenges in America’s Small Cities and Towns

Tonya Graham
Time Slot: 
Concurrent Sessions 1
Session Type: 

Small communities across the nation face both the impacts of the climate change crisis as well as technical and financial capacity constraints that often leave them without the resources to hire consultants or the staff capacity to lead essential planning and implementation processes.

In this session, participants will hear about the challenges experienced by local leaders in small cities and towns and how they are overcoming them. Community leaders from Warren, MN; Mt. Shasta, CA; and the Arastook Band of MicMacs - Presque Isle, ME; will share how they are leveraging assistance and bringing local resources to bear in order to adapt to climate change.

After short presentations, the room will be divided into breakout groups to identify typical challenges for communities with fewer than 5,000 people, between 5,000 and 20,000 people, and over 20,000 people. Participants will then brainstorm how communities can address the challenges identified in order to successfully adapt to climate change.

After brief report backs to the full room, participants will leave with the insights collected across the three sizes of small communities. After NAF, the Geos Institute will synthesize the results of these discussions and make that synthesis available to the larger adaptation field.

This session is for local leaders who struggle because their community is not as big as Chicago or New York and/or they do not have the financial resources to hire a consultant to build their adaptation plan. It is also for the adaptation practitioners who serve these communities.


Moderator - and introduction to Climate Ready Communities
Tonya Graham, Geos Institute
Adapting to Climate Change in Mt. Shasta, CA
Juliana Lucchesi, City of Mt. Shasta
Adapting to Climate Change in Presque Isle, MA
Dena Winslow, Aroostook Band of Micmacs
Adapting to Climate Change in Warren, MN
Shannon Mortenson, City of Warren