Resilience Playbook Guide

Greenbelt Alliance
Posted on: 1/04/2022 - Updated on: 1/04/2022

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The Resilience Playbook is your go-to guide for accelerating equitable adaptation to the climate crisis in the San Francisco Bay Area. It offers a holistic approach to advancing solutions that address overlapping environmental, economic, and social challenges. The Playbook brings together curated strategies, recommendations, and tools to support local decision-makers and community leaders wherever they are in their journey.

The Resilience Playbook can be used by anyone who may be involved in processes to incorporate climate policies into local plans like a General Plan, Climate Action Plan, or Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, such as:

  • Local government officials or city staff embarking on their first Climate Action Plan or specific elements of their General Plan
  • Community-based organizations looking to orient themselves to the General Plan update process and looking to further the knowledge of specific issues and policies
  • Members of the public who wish to learn more about climate policies

Climate change is an opportunity to reimagine our relationship to the natural world and to each other.
Extreme weather events are increasing as are trends in precipitation and temperature changes. Climate change has presented an opportunity to reimagine our relationship to the natural world and to each other. As we plan for the impacts of climate change in the Bay Area, we must seek transformational change toward true long-term prosperity. This transformation will require confronting our shared history, and centering environmental justice in our decision-making practices.

We also know that not all of us are impacted by climate change in the same way. Climate change exacerbates the inequalities already present in our political, social, and economic systems. We need to work together to make sure our lands and communities are resilient to upcoming climate disasters in a way that encompasses the diverse needs of the Bay Area.

California is leading the way with significant efforts underway to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and prevent the worst-case scenarios of climate change and its impacts on people and the environment. At the same time, we are already experiencing the effects of climate change caused by past land-use policies, and even under the best-case scenarios of future emissions, we will continue to experience changes to our environment, communities, and way of life.

As climate hazards worsen due to climate change, the cost of these hazards is going to continue to increase. According to researchers from the University of California at Davis, in 2015 alone the drought cost California $1.84 billion and resulted in the loss of over 10,000 jobs. The 2020 California wildfire season was the largest wildfire season in modern history and cost over $12.079 billion in damages. The human cost is even more devastating. There were over 10,000 structures burned in the 2020 fires and 33 people lost their lives. By taking proactive steps now and integrating the impacts of a changing climate into local policy documents, cities across California can minimize future devastation by enabling communities and natural systems to withstand, respond, and adjust to extreme weather events caused by climate change.

This Playbook aims to provide the guidance to transform our existing systems through policy and planning recommendations, template language, and innovative example ordinances that local decision makers and community leaders can use to accelerate their adaptation to multiple climate risks. These policies will leverage natural and working lands as defense mechanisms to absorb floodwaters, sequester carbon, protect water supply, and provide buffers to wildfires. In tandem, we address critical issues of housing justice, a just transition away from fossil fuels towards green jobs, and environmental justice in order to ensure the outcomes of these policies prioritize the resilience of the most vulnerable communities.

Guidebook Sections


Document Type
Adaptation Phase
Target Climate Changes and Impacts