UAA Pilot Cities


Beginning in early 2015, the ND-GAIN team established collaborations with a robust advisory committee of 30+ leading U.S. adaptation experts, including both researchers and practitioners working on resilience, who inform the project. By building a forward-looking framework to assess the vulnerability and adaptive capacity for five U.S. cities, this work presents analysis of each city and comparisons among them to demonstrate the utility of the framework for national and international use. 


Urban Adaptation Assessment pilot results show a dramatic increase in the extreme heat hazard for each city. Findings compare historical data with future climate scenarios. 

The project’s publicly accessible resources can be viewed on the Notre Dame Adaptation Collaboratory.  The UAA is also contributed to a special issue on urban adaptation for Environmental Science and Policy: Measuring the adaptation gap: A framework for evaluating climate hazards and opportunities in urban areas


In late 2016, ND-GAIN aims to expand the Urban Adaptation Assessment project from five pilot cities to 254 cities, which will include all U.S. cities with population above 100,000. The larger sample size will allow the assessment to identify key adaptation actions, generalizable to global cities, adaptation patterns among a certain subset of cities (i.e. coastal cities), and indicators that have a strong relationship with reducing sensitivity and improving capacity. 

The next phase of the project will also look at addressing social inequities in urban adaptation to climate change. The expansion will develop wider visibility and use of the assessment for city government and community leaders’ decision-making. 

View Assessment PDF