Planning Tools

Capacity Building Studies

CIRCA is supporting and working with interdisciplinary UConn faculty and their research teams on the following topics - go to each page to read about the project, the expected deliverables, and see which faculty are leading the effort.

  1. Defining Zones of Shared Risk
  2. Costs and Benefits of Flood Risk Reduction
  3. Identifying the Change in Heat Vulnerability and Land-use Influence
  4. Extreme Precipitation and Riverine Flood Risk Analysis
  5. Transit Oriented Development Challenges and Opportunities
  6. Legal and Policy Tools for Climate Resilience at the State and Local Levels

Inventory of Previous and Ongoing Resilience Planning in Connecticut

inventory collageMany communities in Fairfield and New Haven counties have begun to address the impacts of flooding, sea-level rise and climate change through planning initiatives such as Plans of Conservation and Development (POCD), Natural Hazard Mitigation Plans (NHHMP), and Coastal Resilience Plans (CRP). The CIRCA team is working on a robust inventory of previous and ongoing climate adaptation planning, focusing on local and regional efforts. A report and accompanying database documenting this assessment will be made available as a resource for Connecticut. A statewide inventory was also produced in 2022.

This list inventories municipal and regional plans in New Haven and Fairfield Counties that impact or address climate resilience.

Sandy CDBG-DR Funded Projects

Following Superstorm Sandy, the Connecticut Department of Housing (CT-DOH) initiated the Planning for Mitigation and Resiliency Program allocating Community Development Block Grants Disaster Recovery funding (CDBG-DR) from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to assist communities in the state with recovery. These projects have helped many communities in Connecticut move forward in addressing the impacts of storms, sea-level rise, and flooding. To view a map of CDBG-DR funded projects in Connecticut, as well as access final reports and products please visit the link below and click on project icons for more information:

Statewide Resilience Roadmap Recommendations

CIRCA and project partners will provide guidelines for the state and municipalities to achieve the following:

  1. Improve the integration of field research to inform site planning and the translation of data to site scale planning choices;
  2. Improve the integration of modeling, informed analysis, and interpretation of model results to guide planning and risk based decision-making. Risk = the probability of an event x the vulnerability of an area;
  3. Strengthen the regional and multi/cross jurisdictional resilience planning approaches including the state's existing programs (e.g. state level programs and COGS);
  4. Improve the bottom up and top down coordination (state to municipal, municipal to homeowner);
  5. Explore, test and integrate a balanced approach to practical and innovative planning, design and implementation strategies into existing documents such as the hazard mitigation, CRP and POCD;
  6. Define and address legal and economic obstacles and permitting challenges;
  7. Define and address implementation and management issues; and
  8. Provide capacity building for resilience planning and projects in Connecticut.

Sea Level Rise Policy White Papers

Connecticut faces unique challenges in climate resilience planning and implementation. To respond to the need to make  information available for Connecticut communities to implement resilience measures through law and public policy, the UConn School of Law’s Center for Energy and Environmental Law (CEEL) conducted legal and policy analysis on critical topics in climate resilience and a targeted educational campaign for key decision-makers.  Four white papers released in 2018 include:

Connecticut Climate Fact Sheets

Planning for adaptation requires local information about expected changes in climate. Until recently, the spatial scale of climate projections did not allow for detailed regional analysis. With support from CT DEEP, CIRCA sponsored two recent state-level climate assessments to better inform local decision-making. If you don't have time to read the full Sea Level Rise Final Report or the Physical Climate Science Assessment Report then these two fact sheets can help you find results quickly:

CIRCA Temperature and Precipitation Fact Sheet

CIRCA Sea Level Rise Fact Sheet

Planning and Visualization Tools for Sea Level Rise

Three “resilience scenarios” are drawings that depict sea level rise and flooding problems common in many Connecticut towns. These diagrams can be used by municipal and state agency staff as communication and planning tools.  The products are particularly useful to town planners or engineers as they have controllable “layers” that can be manipulated to highlight various resilience problems. CIRCA and UConn's Center for Energy and Environmental Law (CEEL) created these products in partnership in 2019.

Resilience Corridor Diagram                            Barrier Beach Resilience Diagram                  Marsh Resilience Diagram