Climate Adaptation Financing


  • How cities can strengthen their capacity to invest in climate adaptation strategies that keep equity front and center
  • How to inspire practitioners to work across sectors to address the effects of climate change on the most vulnerable residents with examples from peers
  • How to equip planning professionals to consider how they might best engage in the investment ecosystem to bring climate adaptation strategies to scale


The potential for climate shock to disrupt life for residents of low-income communities is clear in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, yet evidence of climate adaptation implementation at scale is slim. Some cities and regions are taking new approaches to improve resilience. They are prioritizing equity and inclusion, reaching across organizational and sectoral boundaries to overcome siloed work plans and funding streams. However, resources to support efforts that achieve both scale and equity are limited, and many practitioners are working at the pilot project level. Current funding for climate work relies heavily on disaster recovery funds, leaving many disadvantaged communities already suffering the heat, flooding, and health impacts of climate change at risk. Many existing climate adaptation plans don’t address financing needed to implement plans at a meaningful scale. This course focuses on strategies cities and regions are exploring to repurpose and leverage public and private funds to address climate adaptation, and will highlight how places are incorporating equity in implementation. By providing a framework through which cities can begin working across sectors and showcasing successful examples of collaborative work, the course prompts discussion about what is not only urgently needed, but also what is possible.