Our Urban Adaptation Assessment (UAA) is evaluating the vulnerability to climate change and readiness to adapt in every US with a population over 100,000. That’s 278 cities! Since populations that are already vulnerable will be disproportionately impacted by climate change, the team will also analyze the relationship between urban adaptation and social equity. The assessment’s results will be shared through an interactive tool to spark conversation among organization leaders, city planners and citizens. Undergraduate adaptation ambassadors will help the team hear diverse voices from several cities, while also spreading the assessment’s message to a wide audience.
This summer we’re piloting the Adaptation Ambassador Program with five students, working in Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Irvine and Grand Rapids. By encouraging feedback from our students and maintaining open dialogue with the team, we hope that this pilot program will lay the foundation for scaling out the Ambassador program. We foresee dozens of students connecting the UAA’s work to many cities to foster persistent dialogue around climate adaptation. Donations will be used to support ambassadors’ travel, engagement with opinion leaders and production of outputs that raise community awareness.
Adapting cities to the changing climate will help save human lives and improve livelihoods in the face of increasingly frequent extreme events such as heat waves and floods. The UAA will help city leaders prioritize adaptation action, while raising awareness of the need for such action. Donations to this project will help us harness the passion and prowess of Notre Dame students, who will educate, inspire and encourage citizens and city leaders. Ambassadors will fuel crucial climate conversations while returning with valuable insights about unique concerns in particular cities.