Toward Climate Resilience in the USA: From Federal to Local Level Initiatives and Practices Since the 2000s

  • Ebru A. GencerEmail author
  • Wesley Rhodes
Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)


This chapter explores the evolving concept of disaster risk management and climate resilience building in the United States of America (USA) within the last two decades. The chapter starts by examining federal-level actions towards disaster risk management and climate adaptation and resilience and then delves into local-level actions through the case studies of Nashville, Tennessee, and Hoboken, New Jersey. The chapter concludes with a discussion on the future of climate resilience in the USA. The chapter illustrates that the availability of multiple layers of government has been an effective safety guard against any individual layer’s potential unwillingness to undertake protective risk management or climate resilience building. At state and regional levels, where political will was lacking, federal-level support, particularly in the Obama era, and the initiatives of private foundations have been very valuable. Nowhere, though, have climate resilience building actions in the USA been proven more effective than at the city administrative level. As everywhere else, local-level governments in the USA are at the forefront of disasters and the impacts of climate change and try to take the initiatives of preparing their cities for protection.


US climate policy Resilience planning Hoboken, New Jersey Nashville, Tennessee Hurricane Sandy 



The authors would like to thank the city of Hoboken, New Jersey and the city of Nashville, Tennessee for the development of these case studies. The Hoboken Pilot Case Study was developed by Ebru Gencer (2014) as a working paper for the United Nations Office for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) Urban Planning Advisory Group. The author would like to thank Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the staff of the city of Hoboken, who allowed for meetings and interviews toward the development of this working paper. Wesley Rhodes served as the project lead and co-author of the Nashville Area MPO’s climate adaptation plan and would like to thank his co-author Hannah Plummer for her assistance in its development. The author would also like to thank Mayor Megan Barry and staff of the city of Nashville as well as Michael Skipper of the Nashville Area MPO, and currently Greater Nashville Regional Council, for their cooperation and support in the creation of the plan.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Urban Disaster Risk Reduction and ResilienceNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Center for Urban Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience (CUDRR+R)New YorkUnited States

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