Great Lakes Adaptation Assessment for Cities


Through the support the University of Michigan Graham Sustainability Institute and the Kresge Foundation, and in collaboration with Great Lakes Integrated Sciences + Assessments (GLISA), the goal of GLAA-C is to bring together researchers and practitioners to develop actionable climate adaptation programs for cities in the Great Lakes region. GLAA-C works with cities in the Great Lakes region to develop and implement climate adaptation strategies in these cities. The work of GLAA-C is supported by six University of Michigan faculty members whose backgrounds include public health, public policy, governance, urban planning, and climate science. By incorporating research from all of these fields into climate adaptation solutions for cities, GLAA-C aims to create replicable programs to tackle the interconnected challenges which climate change presents.

Adaptation Work:

For cities to develop and implement effective climate adaptation policies, they require a wide range of scientific, social, and policy information. This project engaged experts from diverse fields to:

  • develop and enhance climate adaptation planning and strategy development by working with city staff and decision makers from six representative Great Lakes cities. Work with these cities now serves as case studies for similarly situated cities in the region.
  • integrate social and climate science data to enhance city-level adaptation plans, activities, and spatial data and inform existing and future infrastructure investments. 
  • create the Cities Impacts and Adaptation Tool that can be used by stakeholders to synthesize, communicate, and apply climate relevant knowledge for urban resilience under different climate scenarios.

Project Links:

Case Studies of Six GLAA-C Cities: The resources, tools, and work that was completed during the partnership GLAA-C and the six partner cities it worked with (Ann Arbor, Michigan; Dayton, Ohio; Flint, Michigan; Kingston, Ontario; Thunder Bay, Ontario; and Toledo, Ohio is captured in our case study site.

Urban Adaptation: More information and resources for urban adaptation in Great Lakes cities.

Public Perceptions and Attitudes Toward Climate Change Fact Sheet: Between April and May of 2012, GLAA-C conducted a random-sample phone survey that targed midsized cities in the Great Lakes Region. The survey was completed by 2,049 participants.

Capstone Conference "Adaptation in the Great Lakes Region": In late June of 2014, GLAA-C organized a regional climate adaptation conference at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. During this meeting, researchers and practitioners from across the region explored climate adaptation efforts in various sectors and across different scales and discussed strategies for fostering collaboration towards buildin a more resilient region.

Cities Impacts and Adaptation Tool (CIAT): This online climate adaptation planning support tool was designed to support decision makers at the municipal level in the Great Lakes Region. It provides usable local-scale data such as demographic and socioeconomic data from the Canadian and US Census, current and projected climate trends, and adaptation strategies pulled from existing municipal planning documents from across North America. It also identifies a unique set of “climate peer” cities, or cities whose current climate matches your city’s projected climate, through an interactive map interface.

Socioeconomics and Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region Tool: Developed collaboratively between GLAA-C and Headwaters Economics, this interactive shows how the social and economic characteristics of the Great Lakes Region are impacted by regionally specific changes in climate. The map features statistical information on over 225 counties throughout the Great Lakes region.

GLAA-C Workshop Resources: GLAA-C staff and students work collaboratively with cities throughout the Great Lakes region to deliver customized climate change adaptation workshops. These workshops provided city staff, elected officials, and key stakeholders insights on regionally significant current and anticipated changes in climate and a better understanding of how impacts from these changes will affect operations and services of the municipal government and its partners. GLAA-C Project Newsletters: Winter 2013-2014 Newsletter and Summer 2013 Newsletter

Phone Number: (734) 615-8230