Graham Sustainability Institute

CRISSP - City of Gary/Infrastructure project

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Climate-Ready Infrastructure and Strategic Sites Protocol (CRISSP) is a municipal adaptation tool developed to address two challenges facing municipalities: 1) the lack of reliable data on anticipated weather changes due to climate change; and 2) limited municipal financial and staff resources to devote to identifying and assessing vulnerability. This tool provides a simple, expedited way to evaluate vulnerability to extreme weather associated with climate change. Information can be used to prepare critical infrastructure and sites within the community, using existing internal and external resources, to address challenges associated with climate change.

A collaborative group, including the Cities Initiative, AECOM, and the City of Gary, Indiana developed CRISSP, with support from GLISA. The protocol was created for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Region, but can be applied anywhere across the US. It was developed by drafting sensitive sites and infrastructure protocol that piloted in Gary.

This case study and methodology were developed simultaneously, streamlining the feedback process for the city. After the test run, the project advisory committee analyzed the results and determined what worked best. They made recommendations addressing short and long-term vulnerabilities to city officials and others.

A key take away from this project was learning the importance of addressing positive and negative factors when evaluating vulnerability and resiliency. For example, power outages and road closings must be considered. In addition, opportunities include identifying abandoned and vacant sites that may be used to address stormwater issues. The CRISSP development group also noted the benefit of using an electronic platform to collect, integrate and organize all information and data. Ideally the municipality would already be using this platform, including the land use and emergency planning programs.

The CRISSP is in its final stages of development and will be available for use by municipalities on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative website.

Learn more: CRISSP