Resilience Tools and Resources

U.S. Resilience Resources Map

The U.S. Resilience Resources Map is designed to help Climate and Resilience Commitment signatories find resilience-related resources in their region. The map lists the U.S. cities that are part of the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) network and institutions that have resilience programs, centers or initiatives. The map also includes city Resilience Plans.

City Resilience Plans

Many cities have already created plans to increase preparedness and adaptation to climate change. While campuses will likely be planning for resilience on a much smaller scale than cities, they can look to these plans for best practices in the assessment and planning process, examples of action steps to increase resilience, and ideas for implementation partners. The following city plans were chosen as examples because they each offer an idea, concept, or approach that can help schools with their resilience planning and implementation.

CityCity TypeHighlight
New York City, NYCoastalThis plan is helpful for ideas on detailed metrics and goals that make resilience achievable; this can help schools get ideas for the kinds of metrics and action steps to include in their own plans.
Boston, MACoastal, 100 Resilient CitiesThis plan frames all metrics and goals around social and racial equity, as opposed to environmental sustainability or climate change. The plan still addresses these issues, but it treats the inequitable impacts of climate change as the impetus for doing so.
Cleveland, OHInlandThis plan comes up with unique action steps that many other plans did not think of; many are about community engagement and easily implementable in schools. Examples include climate fairs, Green Party Crasher Program, and climate ambassadors.
Madison, WIInlandThis plan integrates federal and state policies into the resilience action steps. While campuses will plan on a smaller level, this macro-level analysis is still important to consider–especially if schools receive federal funds.
Los Angeles, CACoastal, 100 Resilient CitiesThis plan is designed for its residents to read; it uses accessible language, has a “how to read an action” guide, and is framed in such a way as to convince its’ audience of the importance of resilience. This language and approach could be helpful on college campuses as well.
Philadelphia, PAInland, ICF InternationalThis plan offers ideas of how to combat vulnerabilities to resilience. It offers ‘Existing Resilience Efforts’ for each major metric (flooding, extreme heat, etc..). Schools can use these ideas to help brainstorm their own solutions.

Thank you to Climate Programs Intern Valerie Weiner for compiling this list

Campus Evaluation of Resilience Dimensions

The Campus Evaluation of Resilience Dimensions is a checklist to help schools assess the five dimensions of resilience, and complete the Resilience Assessment as part of the Climate or Resilience Commitment.  The tool can be used to survey campus and community members regarding their understanding of strengths and vulnerabilities in the area.  It can also be used as part of a workshop to drive conversation around resilience.

The Campus Evaluation of Resilience Dimensions is available online, or as a downloadable PDF:

Implementation Liaisons should note that if using the online version, it is possible to create a unique url that will record all survey responses for a school in a single location. Second Nature worked with Community Resilience Organizations to develop this tool.

Capacity Assessment Matrix

The Capacity Assessment Matrix is a tool to help schools identify, organize, and map out existing resilience activities on campus. This can be used to complete the Resilience Assessment as part of the Climate or Resilience Commitment. The matrix is recommended for large schools where there may be several existing projects or initiatives focused on climate resilience. It can also be helpful for schools looking to collect and organize input from various stakeholders across campus, with a focus on identifying existing capacities.

The Capacity Assessment Matrix is a template; schools should modify the template to best fit the needs of their campus. The planning areas included may not apply to each campus and users should feel free to add or remove planning areas, climate impacts, and indicators as needed.

The Capacity Assessment Matrix was developed by CRUX Fellows Brian Grant and Thea Kindschuh along with their university partners. There are two versions of the matrix that may be downloaded:

Example Completed Matrices

There are two examples of completed Capacity Assessment Matrices that schools may refer to as models. Please note that these are working documents and not final versions of the assessment. At each school, the campus-community task force and other university stakeholders worked through several iterations to fill out the matrices below.

Community Resilience Building Workshop

The Community Resilience Building (CRB) workshop is a tool developed by The Nature Conservancy.  It guides communities through the process of organizing and executing a community resilience building workshop. During the workshop participants define climate hazards, identify strengths and vulnerabilities, and develop and prioritize actions to build resilience. Schools can use this workshop to complete the Resilience Assessment and begin the Planning process. Second Nature recommends the CRB model especially for campuses looking to initiate resilience work with community partners and campuses interested in a participatory process to engage stakeholders. Please visit the CRB website for guidance on organizing and facilitating a workshop.

Summary of Findings Examples

Eastern Connecticut State University organized a Community Resilience Building workshop with the Town of Windham, Connecticut. This was an opportunity for stakeholders from the town and campus to come together and discuss climate resilience. The workshop was facilitated by The Nature Conservancy and Second Nature.

Tufts University also hosted a Community Resilience Building workshop, organized by the Office of Sustainability and the Office of Emergency Management. The workshop focused on the Tufts campus, but included city representatives from Medford and Somerville.

Coordinating with City Initiatives

Schools located in urban centers with existing resilience initiatives may find it advantageous to coordinate the Resilience Assessment and Planning process with their city and other nearby institutions. This will help identify areas where different campus and city plans can complement each other. In Washington, D.C. six universities organized and attended a joint workshop with several city agencies working on resilience. The joint meeting was facilitated by The Nature Conservancy and Second Nature, and included training on how to organize CRB workshops specific to each campus.

Resilience Goal Setting Worksheet

The Resilience Goal Setting Worksheet is a tool to help campuses define resilience goals, strategies for implementation, and metrics for measurement. This can be used when campuses have completed the Resilience Assessment and are incorporating resilience goals into their Climate Action Plans.

This tool is adapted from Gregg RM. 2018. Monitoring Climate Impacts and Evaluating Adaptation Success Worksheet, EcoAdapt, Bainbridge Island, WA