Florida Planning Toolbox: Climate Change Tools

Created: 1/22/2010 - Updated: 3/02/2020


This project was inspired by the growing recognition that Florida is on the front line of the consequences of climate change, especially with regards to significant sea level rise, more intense and frequent hurricanes, more severe droughts, and more frequent periods of torrential rains.


Florida's extreme vulnerability to climate change impacts requires that urgent planning, policy, and management tools be developed for communities and state government. This project emphasizes the need for information sharing in adaptation planning.

Florida is especially vulnerable to significant sea level rise, more intense and frequent hurricanes, more severe droughts, and more frequent periods of torrential rains. The Florida Planning Toolbox includes agriculture land conservation, benchmarking, coastal planning, diversity and social equity, economic development, education and health, housing, infill and redevelopment, land use planning and development, military community growth planning, natural systems conservation, public involvement and education, and water resource planning. All these tools are cross cutting and are integrated in the climate change tools section for use by communities during adaptation planning.


The Florida Planning Toolbox was created to provide descriptions and examples of tools that protect and enhance natural resources, promote economic growth, and support sustainability. It was originally developed in 2006 for the Committee for a Sustainable Emerald Coast. From 2006 until the present, it has served as a repository of planning tools for the entire state. The Climate Change Tools section of the Toolbox provides a compilation of climate impacts information and includes planning by sectors, including adaptation, building (facilities and operations), economic development, education and outreach, land use planning, renewable green energy, transportation, urban landscapes, waste management, and water and wastewater; within each sector are priority recommendations. For example, the adaptation section calls for the involvement of stakeholders, planners, and scientists in the development of a plan. This section includes two main documents to help the state start developing adaptation strategies: the South Florida Regional Planning Council's Climate Change Community Toolbox created to assist the Miami-Dade Climate Change Task Force, and Florida's Resilient Coasts: A State Policy Framework for Adaptation to Climate Change, created by the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions (CUES) at Florida Atlantic University.

Outcomes and Conclusions

This project serves as a great resource for Florida planning. It has compiled in one place the most recent information on climate change and community planning. However, the CUES closed in 2010 due to state budget cuts and it is unclear whether the Florida Planning Toolbox and Climate Change Tools will continue to be updated. In 2009, the Florida Atlantic University's Center for Environmental Studies initiated an Integrative Collaboration on Climate and Energy (ICCE) program to continue advancing climate change adaptation and mitigation through an emphasis on stakeholder involvement and partnership with both government and non-governmental organizations, business communities, and the public. The ICCE is building on the momentum created by the CUES and is focusing work on regional climate scenario models to support adaptation planning.


Information gathered from online resources. Last updated on 1/22/10.


Score, A. (2010). Florida Planning Toolbox: Climate Change Tools [Case study on a project of the Florida Atlantic University]. Product of EcoAdapt's State of Adaptation Program. Retrieved from CAKE: http://www.cakex.org/case-studies/florida-planning-toolbox-climate-chan… (Last updated January 2010)

Project Contact(s)

The Florida Atlantic University Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions (CUES) mission was to work with policymakers and the public in the pursuit of options for managing growth while preserving natural systems, promoting a strong economy, and planning livable communities. In 2010, CUES closed down due to Florida’s state budget reductions for higher education.


Scale of Project
Community / Local
Regional / Subnational
State / Provincial
Sector Addressed
Development (socioeconomic)
Disaster Risk Management
Education / Outreach
Land Use Planning
Transportation / Infrastructure
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Culture / communities
Habitat extent
Infrastructure damage
Invasive / non-native species, pests
Ocean acidification
Public health risks
Public safety threats
Salinization / Saltwater intrusion
Sea level rise
Water quality
Climate Type
3-5 years
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Capacity Building
Increase / Improve public awareness, education, and outreach efforts
Conduct / Gather additional research, data, and products
Infrastructure, Planning, and Development
Community Planning (developing climate-smart communities)
Sociopolitical Setting
Effort Stage

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