Home   |   About   |   Best Practices   |   Steps 1-5   |   Recognition   |   All Cities   |   Ordinances   |  City log-in   |   Contact           Stay Connected
GreenStep City Best Practices Resilient Economic & Community Development

Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience
no. 29

Plan and prepare for extreme weather, adapt to changing climatic conditions, and foster stronger community connectedness and social and economic vitality.
  Best Practice Action 2      [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ]       [all actions]

Integrate climate resilience into city or tribal planning, policy, operations, and budgeting processes.

  • Funding for Climate Resilient Mitigation Activities is available from FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance programs. Eligible activities are: Aquifer Storage and Recovery, Floodplain and Stream Restoration, Flood Diversion and Storage, and Green Infrastructure Methods focused on mitigating the impacts of flood and drought conditions. FEMA funding is available on a pre-and post-disaster basis. Eligibility determination, benefit cost analysis and environmental review are required for approval. Interested jurisdictions may contact >hazard.mitigation@state.mn.us for more information. [Applicable to 3 Star implementation.]
  • Menu of Climate Adaptation Strategies - funded by MPCA - includes many "no regrets" strategies to improve daily quality of life for everyone, while helping reduce risk for those most vulnerable to climate impacts - the very old or young, people of color, and people with health issues, disabilities, economic vulnerability, outdoor occupations, exposure to environmental pollution, or cultural/language barriers. Also view specific reports for 23 Minnesota communities. [Applicable to 1 and 2 Star implementation.]
  • The Community Resilience Building Workshop Guide provides a risk matrix form and step-by-step process for a community-driven process to identify top hazards, current challenges, strengths, and priority actions to improve community resilience. [Applicable to 1, 2 and 3 Star implementation.]
  • South Central Minnesota Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment & Adaptation Plan by the Region 9 Development Commission includes a replicable assessment process, quantification of impacts for eight critical sectors, and an adaptation plan with objectives and recommendations that provide a useful model for climate resilience planning in greater Minnesota. See also the Health Impact Assessment of the climate adaptation plan strategies. [Applicable to 1 and 2 Star implementation.]
  • Steps to Resilience, (U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit) provides a downloadable spreadsheet and step-by-step process to identify climate vulnerabilities and build resilience to protect investments, boost the local economy, create jobs, and improve local ecosystems. Also, the MN Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) has developed a Landscape Resiliency Toolbox to address a wide range of landscape stressors including climate change, to maintain long-term ecological, economic and social benefits.[Applicable to 1, 2 and 3 Star implementation.]
  • The Flood Resilience Checklist from EPA Smart Growth can help communities identify opportunities to improve their resilience to future floods through policy and regulatory tools, including comprehensive plans, local land use codes and regulations, and non-regulatory programs implemented at the local level. [Applicable to 1, 2 and 3 Star implementation.]
  • Minnesota Department of Health Climate and Health webpages provide information and resources on climate impact topics, including Planning Tools and Data. [Applicable to 1 and 2 Star implementation.]
  • The Local Planning Handbook - Resilience Element, PlanIt webinar videos, and fact sheet/how-to information from the Metropolitan Council can be useful to all cities. Local Planning Highlights showcase community engagement and more. [Applicable to 1 and 2 Star implementation.]
  • Student teams are a valuable resource to assist cities with resilience planning and implementation. Partnership programs directly assist cities (by application): Resilient Communities Project (University of MN), Sustainable Communities Partnership (University of St. Thomas), and Center for Small Towns (U of Minnesota-Morris). Past work products are accessible on their websites. Capstone and course-based projects are another source of student assistance (for example, Climate Change Impacts & Adaptation Strategies, by students at the U of M-Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Morris Model - Community Resilience Plan by U of M-Morris student interns with the Sustainability Office, and Ready and Resilient, a project of Macalester College students). [Applicable to 1, 2 and 3 Star implementation.]
  • Federal data sources for vulnerability assessment and comprehensive planning include: Explore climate in your location, for maps and graphs of historical and projected climate trends in your local area (county, city or zip code); The Social Vulnerability Index for prepared county maps of vulnerability (from U.S. census data) due to socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity/language, household status, housing/transportation, and all factors combined; and Community Resilience Indicators Project Data Viewer from FEMA with county-level indicators for housing condition, housing affordability, health care availability, healthy behaviors, employment opportunity, and income. [Applicable to 1 and 2 Star implementation.]
  • Great Lakes Climate Adaptation Toolkit. includes a primer, case studies, why a more variable climate matters to your community, and fact sheets including 10 Do's and Don'ts of Discussing Climate Change. [Applicable to 1 and 2 Star implementation.]
  • Climate Adaptation: The State of Practice in U.S. Communities (Nov 2016) funded by the Kresge Foundation provides a useful list of tactical recommendations and identifies leading practices that can be replicated in other communities. [Applicable to 1, 2 and 3 Star implementation.]
  • Access useful guides for cities including Let's Talk Communities & Climate - Communication Guidance for City and Community Leaders offered through ecoAmerica's new Local Climate Engagement Programs with National League of Cities & Local Government Commission. View the latest research on American Climate Perspectives and additional resources.
  • Integrating Hazard Mitigation Into Local Planning: Case Studies and Tools for Community Officials (FEMA 2013) provides succinct and practical information to local government officials on how to best integrate hazard mitigation ito the full range of community planning activities. [Applicable to 2 Star implementation.]
Conduct a high-level assessment of strategic climate vulnerabilities and vulnerable populations. Identify important assets and key adaptation/resilience opportunities. (Report more detailed assessments under Actions 5 and 7.)
Adopt a stand-alone climate adaptation/resilience plan; incorporate climate adaptation and resilience goals and strategies into the city’s comprehensive plan (or long-term vision or adaptation plan for Category B & C cities and tribes) using public engagement processes which must involve proactive outreach, stakeholder involvement, and meaningful engagement of vulnerable and underrepresented populations.
Based on the direction provided by an assessment of vulnerabilities and/or a comprehensive planning process, integrate identified climate adaptation/resilience strategies directly into city ordinances (such as strong land use and/or storm water regulations to protect or create resilient assets), operating procedures, and capital improvement or other budgets.


Date action report first entered:   11/03/2016
Date of last report update:   11/03/2016

Implementation details:
See attached assessment

Outcome measures/metrics:
See attached assessment

            view file

For more information contact:
Janet Anderson (Elected official)   |   jkanderson@gofast.am   |   507-433-1081

View All Austin Actions


Date action report first entered:   08/22/2017
Date of last report update:   08/22/2017
Year action initially completed:   2017
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
City of Bloomington participated in a workshop series to identify opportunities to build resilience related to local climate change. Recommendations are being developed to include in the Bloomington Comprehensive Plan update, estimated for completion in 2018. See attached file for specific details.

            view file

For more information contact:
Mary Hurliman (City staff)   |   mhurliman@BloomingtonMN.gov   |   952-563-8730

Barr Engineering, MN Pollution Control Agency, Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District, 9 Mile Creek Watershed District, Freshwater Society, Metropolitan Council

View All Bloomington Actions

Falcon Heights

Date action report first entered:   12/09/2016
Date of last report update:   12/13/2016
Year action initially completed:   2015
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
A Falcon Heights Resiliency Analysis was completed in the spring of 2016. To follow up on this effort, the City of Falcon Heights held a Resiliency Event on June 13, 2016, supported with Best Practice 29 Event Sponsorship funding. Held in the Council Chambers, this event engaged residents from Falcon Heights and neighboring cities. Presenters included Erin Rupp from Pollinate MN, Trevor Drake from CERTs, and Alex Van Loh from Master Water Stewards Program. Abby Finis from the Great Plains Institute presented the Resiliency Analysis. The goal of this event was twofold: 1) to inform residents about what the city has been doing to incorporate resilience into its planning and operation efforts, and 2) to engage and motivate residents to take their own action to enhance resilience in the community. Several aspects of resilience can take place at people’s homes. This event served as a practical workshop to guide and inform residents about what they can do to increase energy efficiency, consider renewable energy options, plant pollinator friendly yards, and reduce their impact on storm water contaminants. The attendees numbered in the 20-30 range with residents from Lauderdale, Falcon Heights and Roseville. It was a diverse representation of all cities. Members of the Falcon Heights Environmental Commission also attended. Attendees participated in interactive components of the event through real-time polling through their smart devices. There were also numerous opportunities for attendees to ask questions and engage in rich dialogue about the topics presented.

Outcome measures/metrics:
The Resiliency Analysis will serve as the foundation from which the City will pursue incorporating resilience into its comprehensive planning effort. (Click on "view file" below to see the Resiliency Analysis.) The event was a pivotal step in engaging the community and the commission in resiliency topics. Many of the ideas and concepts presented at the event were new to the attendees and created an environment of action. (Click on the descriptive link below to see a video of the event.) Feedback was received after the event and through follow-up conversations with attendees and with the Environmental Commission members that attended. The feedback was extremely positive. There was a lot of excitement around the topic of pollinators and resiliency. The Environmental Commission decided to draft a pollinator resolution. Other areas of interest included the Good Acre CSA that began operations this summer as well as composting initiatives. Ideas that carried the most attention were those that could be done at the home or by individuals. There was interest by attendees and the Environmental Commission to continue events like this in the future. The Commission also will be looking at creating more feedback from the community at-large through surveys on the City’s listserv and through newsletters.

Descriptive links: https://vimeo.com/174440841             view file

For more information contact:
Sack Thongvanh (City staff)   |   sack.thongvanh@falconheights.org   |   651-792-7600

Great Plains Institute

View All Falcon Heights Actions

Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Date action report first entered:   08/07/2018
Date of last report update:   08/21/2018
Year action initially completed:   2016
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
In 2016, Fond du Lac was a part of a inter-tribal assessment of climate change vulnerability for species in the region. The study reviewed climate vulnerability in all 1854 Ceded territory, including the Fond du Lac, Bois Forte, and Grand Portage Reservations. In 2017, FDL updated our own Integrated Resource Management Plan, updating management practices and recommendations for the conservation of water/wetlands, fisheries, land resources, forestry, wildlife, and air quality. Additionally, the plan outlines best practices for resource conservation and enforcement, recreational resources, and energy resource management.

Outcome measures/metrics:
The Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaption Plan for 1854 Ceded Territory is updated at least every five and ideally every three years. This will ensure that new climate science, new details about local climate impacts, and information about species and ecosystem adaptation are taken into account in our efforts to create a climate resilient region. Fond du Lac's own Integrated Resource Management Plan is updated every ten years to ensure the conservation and long term sustainability of it's natural resources.

Descriptive links: http://www.fdlrez.com/RM/index.htm

For more information contact:
Shannon Judd (City staff)   |   shannonjudd@fdlrez.com   |   218-878-7123

1854 Treaty Authority; Boris Forte Band of Chippewa; Grand Portage Chippewa.

View All Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Actions


Date action report first entered:   11/18/2016
Date of last report update:   05/05/2017
Year action initially completed:   2016

Implementation details:
The Morris Model team developed a Community Resilience Report that specifies 9 main goals to work on in the city, county, and schools.

Descriptive links: http://media.wix.com/ugd/c432de_263be1abe58440c8be7aa0058619018d.pdf

For more information contact:
Blaine Hill (City staff)   |   bhill@ci.morris.mn.us   |   320-589-3141

Stevens County, Morris Public School, Horizon Public Health, and the University of Minnesota, Morris

View All Morris Actions

Red Wing

Date action report first entered:   04/24/2017
Date of last report update:   05/09/2017
Year action initially completed:   2016
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
During 2016, the City of Red Wing has integrated climate resilience into city strategic planning, operations and budgeting processes. First, the City Council included within its 2016 Strategic Plan two projects: 1) Strategy I.D.10 to "develop a community resiliency plan to identify and prepare a plan to adapt to potential impacts of climate change" with implementation designated for 2017 and 2) Strategy III.H.2 to "strengthen staff support for the Sustainability Commission." Within the 2017 City Budget, the Council approved a half-time position for the City to fill a formal Sustainability Coordinator role who will take the lead in resiliency planning. Operationally, the Human Resource department has approved a Sustainability Coordinator job description.

Outcome measures/metrics:
The City of Red Wing human resource department is currently in the process of attempting to fill the Sustainability Coordinator position. Once the new coordinator is hired, the Resiliency planning will commence. The City additionally has recently appointed a new emergency manager who finished his emergency management certification and will participate in all hazards planning efforts such as resiliency planning. The City Strategic Plan also provides the following goals: * a new emergency manager who will participate in all hazards planning efforts; * a Code Red Program that informs residents of emergency information via automatic phone recordings; * the goal of fostering an active, healthy citizenry in which all residents feel listened to, engaged, and connected; * the goal to improve communication with residents about city news, policies, and activities using multiple media forms; and * the plan to hire a communication staff person to facilitate proactive communication

Descriptive links: http://www.red-wing.org/media/files/city_council/City%20of%20Red%20Wing%20Strategic%20Plan%20FINAL%202016.pdf

For more information contact:
Paul Drotos (City staff)   |   paul.drotos@ci.red-wing.mn.us   |   651-410-6744

View All Red Wing Actions

Golden Valley

Date action report first entered:   10/25/2016
Date of last report update:   12/05/2017

Implementation details:
The City retained the services of a consultant to assist with the development of its first Resilience and Sustainability Plan. Writing of the plan began in fall of 2016 and was completed in fall of 2017. To first gain an understanding of the existing conditions, the consultant conducted a vulnerability assessment covering natural and built infrastructure assets as well as economic and social vulnerabilities. Focus groups, interviews with local business representatives, and a community survey were used to gather feedback from the community which directly influenced the development of the plan. The subject of one of the focus groups was supporting vulnerable populations in Golden Valley and was composed of people working to provide social services to vulnerable populations in Golden Valley. Results from the community outreach effort as well as the vulnerability assessment led to the development of six goals: 1) Promote and Develop Clean, Renewable Energy 2) Improve Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Lighting and Infrastructure 3) Promote Waste Reduction, Recycling and Composting 4) Protect and Enhance the Natural Environment 5) Plan for Resilient and Sustainable Infrastructure 6) Increase Community Resilience and Preparedness. These goals, along with their associated objectives, policies, and implementation strategies will be incorporated into the City’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan update as a separate chapter on Resilience and Sustainability. The Comprehensive Plan update will be adopted by City Council in 2018.

For more information contact:
Eric Eckman (City staff)   |   eeckman@goldenvalleymn.gov   |   763-593-8084

View All Golden Valley Actions

Saint Anthony

Date action report first entered:   10/25/2016
Date of last report update:   10/25/2016

Implementation details:
On June 30, after a period of working with leaders in St. Anthony Village, a suburb of Minneapolis, to determine goals and needs, USGBC Minnesota led community leaders and green community industry experts through a strategic planning process. With assistance from facilitator Brian Ross of Great Plains Institute, USGBC Minnesota used an augmented ADVANCE framework to determine goals that would support St. Anthony Village’s comp planning process. The comprehensive plan addresses land use, transportation, water resources, parks and trails, housing, resilience, economic competitiveness and implementation. ADVANCE St. Anthony Village set goals and discussed resources for support in the areas of transportation and location, sustainable sites and water and energy and atmosphere that will help weave sustainable goals throughout the completed plan. St. Anthony Village is also working with WSB & Associates, Inc. to complete their comprehensive plan—fantastic and willing advocates in the discussions that transpired.

Outcome measures/metrics:
This resulted in a clearer direction for the Comprehensive Plan update in relation to sustainability and resiliency and where the city as a whole should be headed.

Descriptive links: http://www.ci.saint-anthony.mn.us/vertical/Sites/%7B5ED4AFB9-D450-4F68-BA29-2600D3C2A620%7D/uploads/ADVANCE_PLANBuilder_Report_St_Anthony_Village.pdf

For more information contact:
Jay Hartman (City staff)   |   jay.hartman@ci.saint-anthony.mn.us   |   612-782-3314

USGBC, PCA, Great Plains Institute, Citizens for Sustainability

View All Saint Anthony Actions

Saint Paul

Date action report first entered:   08/02/2017
Date of last report update:   08/04/2017
Year action initially completed:   8/17
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
Thanks to a grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the City worked with a variety of partners to develop a "Strategic Framework for Community Resiliency." The framework will inform the city's Climate Action and Resiliency Plan.

Descriptive links: www.stpaul.gov/sites/default/files/Media%20Root/Mayor%27s%20Office/SFCR-%20FINAL.pdf

For more information contact:
Ana Vang (City staff)   |   ana.vang@ci.stpaul.mn.us   |   651-266-8536

View All Saint Paul Actions

Sauk Rapids pending

Date action report first entered:   04/26/2016
Date of last report update:   04/26/2016

Implementation details:
All city department heads have taken NIMS (National Incident Management System) training for disaster preparation.

For more information contact:
Marilyn Patterson (Community volunteer)   |   mpp03@charter.net   |   320-258-5300

View All Sauk Rapids Actions

pending means a star rating has not yet been assigned to this city

greenstep advisor
Laura Millberg, MBA, LEED AP BD+C, Sustainable Development and Climate Resilience Principal Planner, MN Pollution Control Agency: 651/757-2568, Laura.Millberg@state.mn.us, https://www.pca.state.mn.us/quick-links/community-resilience