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5 Chicago Communities Will Use Data to Plan for Climate Change

Five Great Lakes communities will get help planning for climate change. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

A $300,000 grant will help five Chicago-area communities use climate data to address potential climate extremes, such as flooding or drought.

The American Planning Association received the grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to help communities incorporate the data into capital improvement plans.

Over the course of the two-year project, planners and climatologists will work with the pilot communities to incorporate climate data into planning efforts, identify climate resources and create guidelines that could help other communities.

The project could also help bring awareness to the ways climate change impacts non-coastal cities. Free resources will be posted online to help other cities identify trustworthy climate data sources and use that data in their planning efforts.

“Communities can better prepare themselves to weather the flux of climate extremes that are becoming more frequent,” said James C. Schwab, manager of APA Hazards Planning Center, in a statement. “Knowing how to incorporate and use climate data in planning initiatives will make communities more resilient to disasters, speed up the recovery from such disasters, and reduce the economic impact of such disasters.”

APA is partnering with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) for the project. The agency will provide technical assistance to the communities and help write the resulting guides.

The city of Berwyn and the village of Richton Park have been selected as pilot communities so far; the final three communities will be announced in September.