Resilient Connecticut Planning Framework
During Phase I of the project, the CIRCA team engaged a broad range of stakeholders on the development of a Resilient Connecticut Planning Framework. This Framework will guide the plans, projects, and research activities initiated during Phases II and III and will build on the range of ongoing climate adaptation activities occurring in the state. The Framework will connect science-based risk assessment with innovative design strategies and apply them to practical planning practices. The RCPF will introduce a variety of applied tools and methodologies intended to influence Connecticut's resilience planning moving forward, focusing on five themes.
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.
- Defining Zones of Shared Risk
- Costs and Benefits of Flood Risk Reduction
- Identifying the Change in Heat Vulnerability and Land-use Influence
- Extreme Precipitation and Riverine Flood Risk Analysis
- Transit Oriented Development Challenges and Opportunities
- Legal and Policy Tools for Climate Resilience at the State and Local Levels
Inventory of Previous and Ongoing Resilience Planning in Connecticut
Many communities 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, regional, national and international efforts. A report and accompanying database documenting this assessment will be made available as a resource for Connecticut. The team is specifically focusing on existing municipal, regional and state resiliency projects and initiatives, as well as coordinating with and assessing related programs in neighboring states including New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. The team is further exploring precedents for resiliency programs and initiatives at the national and international scale.
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
- Improve the integration of field research to inform site planning and the translation of data to site scale planning choices;
- 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;
- Strengthen the regional and multi/cross jurisdictional resilience planning approaches including the state's existing programs (e.g. state level programs and COGS);
- Improve the bottom up and top down coordination (state to municipal, municipal to homeowner);
- 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;
- Define and address legal and economic obstacles and permitting challenges;
- Define and address implementation and management issues; and
- 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:
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.