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Is Your City Planning Ahead?

Heidi Nutters

Flooding along San Francisco's Embarcadero during an extreme high tide in February, 2011.

With little being done at the national and international level to cut carbon emissions and curb the march of climate change, more and more communities and institutions are seriously considering how they will adapt to the environmental changes that lie ahead. 

Sea levels are rising, and in the Bay Area, planners are expecting an increase of nearly five feet by the end of the century.  According to climate models, temperatures across the state are likely to rise between three and seven degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, leading to increased heat waves and stressing the state’s water supply.

So, are we prepared?  Not really, according to a story today on the public radio program Marketplace.

And yet, as reporter Sarah Gardner explains, there are communities, including some in California, that are taking action now, and investing real money, to protect themselves (and their real estate) from the changes ahead, despite current fiscal challenges.

San Francisco Tops List of Climate-Friendly Cities

Canadian firm ranks three California cities among the US top ten

(Photo: Gretchen Weber)

The new ranking places San Francisco at number one because of its “political leadership and commitment” in the fight against climate change, according to the study’s author, Boyd Cohen of CO2 Impact, a Vancouver-based carbon offsets company. The city also has a “proactive” university community, lots of active clean-tech investors, and the largest number of LEED-certified buildings per capita in the country, he said.

Two other California cities made the top ten: San Diego in sixth place, and San Jose in ninth. Continue reading