Managing Chicago's Natural Resources in a Changing Environment

ECCo scientists are leading an effort to create a checklist for project managers that integrates climate considerations into planning and management designs. This project, the Chicago Climate Action Plan (CCAP) Climate-Ready Checklist, aligns with the city of Chicago’s sustainability plan and the Chicago Wilderness Climate Action Plan for Nature (CAPN). The Climate-Ready Checklist will assist groups advising and implementing CCAP actions, (including, e.g., the CCAP Natural Environment Adaptation Work Group and the Lead-By-Example City of Chicago Department and Agency Green Staff). The goal of the Checklist is to help project managers take into account forecasted climate impacts and ensure the projects will be sustainable and cost-effective in the long-term. The Checklist will not be mandatory or prescriptive. Through a series of two workshops and personal communication, more than twenty project managers from seventeen organizations participated in identifying issues and requesting tools and information they would like to see reflected in the Checklist. This direct input from mangers is being used as the basis for the Checklist content, increasing the likelihood of its widespread use. Phase one of the project, to be completed by December 2011, is to create a list of the climate considerations for three main system areas (natural areas, green/open spaces, built landscapes) and associated adaptation tools and resources. Phase two, anticipated to be completed in Summer 2012, will be the development of an interactive Checklist on the Collaboratory for Adaptation (an NSF-funded project between University of Notre Dame and the Nature Conservancy) and a soil volume design calculation tool for urban tree planting projects.