Helping cities and towns advance climate change adaptation and resiliency has been a focus of the Clinic’s work since 2011. Working with cities such as Boston, Cambridge, and New York City, students write model ordinances, prepare implementing tools and policy papers, and present to multidisciplinary audiences. Some of the Clinic’s work for clients is confidential, while other material can be broadly shared and scaled up for applicability across communities.

In the 2018-19 academic year, the Clinic has been developing governing mechanisms, cost sharing agreements, and RFPs for a coalition of Florida municipalities pursuing a joint vulnerability assessment.

Other examples of the Clinic’s prior and ongoing work in this field include:

  • Detailed analyses of the tensions between the Massachusetts building code and municipal action to increase resiliency of the built environment and its residents.
  • A white paper and model ordinance identifying opportunities for Massachusetts cities and towns to advance “net zero building” goals consistent with state building code restrictions.
  • Broad and detailed overviews of the legal authority in different cities to take a wide range of identified adaptation and resiliency measures.
  • Identifying opportunities for integrating climate change adaptation and resiliency into property development reviews and preparing implementing tools and guidance.
  • Crafting procurement policies that incorporate climate change adaptation and resiliency considerations.
  • A model wetlands bylaw that incorporates climate change adaptation provisions for coastal and inland Massachusetts municipalities (forthcoming).
  • A paper analyzing the role of downscale climate change data in municipal rulemaking and permitting (forthcoming).
  • Strategies for overcoming legal obstacles to municipal microgrids.
  • Identifying opportunities for municipalities to work with insurance companies to promote climate adaptation and resiliency.