Urban Climate Change Adaptation: Case Studies in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, MI (2012)

Client Organization: 
Great Lakes Cities Climate Change Integrated Assessment
Project Location : 
Summary of Project Idea: 

How will urban areas adapt to climate change? Only a few U.S. cities have addressed this question, but this master's project team seeks to help cities in the Great Lakes region prepare for climate change impacts. First, the team summarized scientific projections of climate change impacts in the Great Lakes. The team connected those impacts with urban systems, asking how climate change will affect different elements of a city's social, built, and natural environments. Using the cities of Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, MI, as case studies, the team assessed each city's capacity to adapt to climate change. The team accomplished this by applying a framework of interconnected determinants of adaptive capacity, citing examples from the cities to identify enablers and constraints to adaptation.

Skills/Expertise Needed: 

GIS, statistical data analysis, interview skills, policy analysis skills

SEAS Program Areas: 
Conservation Ecology (Aquatic Sciences, Terrestrial Ecosystems, and Conservation Biology)
Environmental Policy and Planning
Behavior, Education, and Communication
Environmental Justice
Sustainable Systems
Professional Career Development Benefits: 

Opportunities to interact with great lakes cities decision makers and officials, presentations at urban adaptation meetings.

Funding Sources: 

The project is sponsored by the Graham Institute's Great Lakes Cities Climate Change Integrated Assessment.  GLCCCIA/GESI

Identify expected products/deliverables: 

Database on great lakes cities; intermediate reports on specific selected great lakes cities; final report on the integrated assessment.

State or Country: 
SEAS Faculty Advisor: 
Maria Lemos
Advisor Confirmed: 
Master Students Involved in Project: 
  • Zane Hadzick, MS, Terrestrial Ecosystems
  • Jenn Perron, MS, Environmental Policy and Planning
  • Parrish Bergquist, MS/MUP, Environmental Policy and Planning
  • Jen Kullgren, MS/MUP, Sustainable Systems/ Behavior, Education and Communication
  • Laura Matson, MS/MUP, Environmental Justice
Project Status: 
Past Project