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  • Built to last: Challenges and opportunities for climate-smart infrastructure in California
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Built to last: Challenges and opportunities for climate-smart infrastructure in California

Source(s):  Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)

This paper aims to support the building of resilient infrastructure by improving and accelerating the integration of climate-smart principles into public infrastructure decisions in California. The paper focuses on actions that the California government and state agency staff (including planners, engineers, procurement specialists, and public infrastructure investment managers) and state policymakers can take to advance climate-smart public infrastructure that is built to last.

This paper identifies several barriers to progress and makes recommendations for overcoming them that generally fall into three categories: (1) data, tools, and standards; (2) financial and economic assessments and investments; and (3) institutional capacity and good governance.

Policy recommendations in this paper are intentionally high level so that they can be applied and tailored to various contexts across different sectors and regions of the state. They are summarized below:

  • Update outdated standards and codes and increase the technical capacity of government and agency staff involved in all infrastructure decisions.
  • Improve the technical and scientific basis for planning, evaluating, and implementing infrastructure projects, services, and systems. Ensure those processes better address climate-related risks, costs, and benefits, as well as uncertainties and equity, and encourage innovation.
  • Leverage existing and identify new sources of funding and creative financing for climate-resilient infrastructure.
  • Foster greater coordination across jurisdictions and sectors, increase transparency and inclusion in decision-making, and plan in advance for climate-smart disaster recovery efforts. 



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  • Built to last: Challenges and opportunities for climate-smart infrastructure in California
  • Publication date 2017
  • Author(s) Gibson, Jamesine Rogers
  • Number of pages 43 p.

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