Climate Resilience Planning for Cities

Supporting our Cities to become Energy Leaders – The Alliance for Sustainability is now developing and supporting volunteer teams in 50 metro communities to support their Environment & Sustainability and Planning Commissions, City staff and City Councils to include energy, resilience, health and economic inclusion goals and strategies in their comprehensive plans by December of 2018.

Sign up here to join a volunteer team in your city and to receive our invitations twice a year to meet with your peers from other cities.

Resilience Planning Resources

Join us for our Fall 2017 Planning for Resilient Cities Workshops with city staff, commission and community volunteers and elected leaders from 40 metro cities working together to include resilience goals (energy/mitigation, water/adaptation and health/economic inclusion goals in their City’s Comprehensive Plans. The workshops are offered free though the support of the MPCA/ MN EQB and additional sponsors.

  • Staff/ Elected Leaders / Commissions Workshop  Thursday Nov 9, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m Brookdale Library or
  • Community Workshops – with citizen volunteers, 6pm to 8pm SW Metro Thurs Oct 5  Edina, East Metro Tues Oct 24Stillwater, or NW Metro Thurs Nov 9 – Brooklyn Center

Please RSVP here to participate in person or via Webinar for the free Workshops,


Metro Wide Planning for Resilient Cities Workshop for City Staff, Elected Leaders & Commissions with the MPCA and EQB

Thursday Nov 9, Brookdale Library – 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (afternoon focus on City Staff) OR 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (evening focus on Commissions) Please RSVP to participate in person or via webinar  

Learn in small groups with your peers about new resources available for your city’s Comprehensive Planning for Local, clean ENERGY, Water Quality/ADAPTATION/, Active Living, Food Access, HEALTH and ECONOMY

Get more out of your plan. Learn with city staff and topic experts (presentations & small group discussion) about example comprehensive plan language & implementation & funding resources for

  • Energy & Buildings – Brian Ross, GPI, Leah Hiniker, Hennepin County
  • Smart Transportation – Frank Douma, U of MN
  • Climate Resilience – Matt Metzger, Barr Eng.
  • Health/ Economic Inclusion – County staff, Dr. Bruce Corrie, One MN


or Community Workshops

for citizen and commission volunteers, youth, faith communities –  Learn with your peers how you can support your city to include resilience (energy/mitigation, water/adaptation, health/economic inclusion) goals and strategies in your city’s new 20 year Comprehensive Plans

  • SW Metro – Thursday Oct 5, 2017 – 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, Edina City Hall 4801 W 50th St, Edina, MN 55424
  • East Metro – Tues Oct 24 6:00 p.m. Stillwater Library 224 3rd St N, Stillwater, MN 55082
  • NW Metro – Thurs Nov 9, 6:00 p.m. Brookdale Library 6125 Shingle Creek Pkwy, Brooklyn Center, MN 55430

Learn in small groups with your peers and topic experts about

  • Example goal language from cities including Energy and Resilience Goals in their comprehensive plans
  • Cities forming and working with Sustainability Commissions to move projects forward and track progress.
  • Brainstorm your next steps to build support for energy and climate resilience in your community!

Please RSVP here to participate in person or via Webinar


Thanks to our Workshop Co-sponsors – Alliance for Sustainability, MN EQB, MPCA, MDH, DNR, Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey & Washington Counties, MN CEE, EOR, GPI, LHB Corp, USGBC, Ever-Green Energy, Xcel Energy, Dakota Electric, Eutectics, LHB Corp., Bolton & Menk,, MN Food Charter, U of MN CURA, MN Design Center, CSBR, Energy Transition Lab, MFAN, iMatter Youth


January 2017 to June 2018 – Resilient Cities Clusters – we will support 50 metro cities to share their draft comprehensive language in groups of 5 to 8 cities in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington Counties. In 2017 The Alliance for Sustainability will work closely with our county and nonprofit resource partners, watershed districts and utilities to convene interested city staff & commission volunteers in each county to meet together two times in 2017 as they write their resilience sections of their comprehensive plans (including energy, adaptation and health/equity/economic vitality to

  • Share and compare draft plan language, goals and strategies
  • Connect with resources to map existing conditions, energy usage, climate vulnerabilities, health, etc.
  • Learn from cities that have developed energy action plans & implementation strategies through Xcel’s Partners in Energy, LoGoPep the Mayors Compact, MN GreenSteps or to help meet our MN CO2 reduction goals.
  • Develop implementation strategies for their comprehensive plans including identifying new funding sources, quality technical advisors, community and business engagement strategies, benchmarking and tracking results
  • We will then contribute case studies that other cities can benefit from to the local planning handbook

Many cities in the metro area have environmental commissions, and over the years, the focus of those commissions have been on stormwater management, improving impaired waters, ordinance writing, and other municipal concerns as they arise.

But lately, there has been a new topic added to the agenda: Resilience. We know climate change is happening, and we know we are seeing more storms, more violent storms, and more flooding. Can we plan to adjust to these new realities? Can we make our communities more “resilient” — more able to prevent damage and more able to recover from bad episodes?

We can! And to that end, the Metropolitan Council has added a chapter on resilience to the 10 comprehensive plan chapters that cities are in the process of writing now.

If you are new to what this means and how cities can reduce their contribution to global warming pollution and to be safe in the face of more weather events, here is a link to Met Council’s site. It is great background information!

June 2017 Planning for Resilient Cities workshops

  • Thank you to everyone who joined us for our four Planning for Resilient Cities Workshops in June including 285 staff, elected leaders, commission and community volunteers from 46 cities and 8 counties!
  • The workshop presentations and handouts are posted below for you to enjoy and share.


June 2017 – Planning for Resilient Cities 


Thursday June 1 – Roseville Skating Center –  with staff and/or volunteers participating from Ramsey Co (12) Arden Hills, Falcon Heights, Lauderdale, Maplewood, Mounds View, New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, St. Anthony, St. Paul, Vadnais Heights, White Bear Lake, Anoka Co (4) Anoka, Columbia Heights, Coon Rapids, Fridley, Washington Co (4) Oakdale, Mahtomedi, Marine, Woodbury


with staff and/or volunteers participating from Hennepin Co (15) Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Eden Prairie, Edina, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Maple Grove, Maple Plain, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Osseo, Plymouth, Richfield, Shorewood, St. Louis Park, Victoria, Scott Co (4) Jordan, Prior Lake, Shakopee, Elko New Market, Carver County (4) Carver, Chanhassen, Chaska, Victoria

  • Community Workshop – Thurs June 8 – 6pm to 8:30pm, Ridgedale Library, Minnetonka
  • City Staff Workshop – Fri June 23 – 10am to 1pm  Ridgedale Library, Minnetonka
  • Resource Guide  & Speaker Contacts  June23HandoutsPlanningForResilientCities

Tuesday June 27 – Apple Valley Senior Center with staff and/or volunteers participating from from Dakota Co. (10) Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Empire Township, Hastings, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville, Rosemount, South St. Paul, Sunfish Lake, West St. Paul, Rice Co. (2) Faribault, Northfield, Goodhue Co (1) Redwing

Workshop Presentations and Handouts

Energy Mapping & Planning Brian Ross, Abby Finnis & Diana McKeown, Great Plains Institute

Local Commercial Building Benchmarking Ordinance

Hennepin County Pilot Project for Suburban Communities to adopt Commercial building benchmarking ordinances    Leah Hiniker, Hennepin Co. Energy Management
Katie Schmitt CEE Benchmarking Outreach and Policy Coordinator

Workshop Presentation  Hen Co Benchmarking Community Meeting Presentation 6-8-2017

City of Minneapolis Commercial Building Benchmarking and Transparency Program        Benchmarking Policy Overview              Ordinance text

CEE Mid-Sized City Building Energy Bench marking workshop
Webinar Resources    Slide Share

Energy Efficiency, Renewables & Electric Vehicles in Dakota County Tim Doherty, Stephanie Pederson , Dakota Electric

High Performance Buildings & Eco Districts John Carmody, U of MN Center for Sustainable Building Research

Future Transportation Trends – Planning for Autonomous Electric Vehicles – Tom Fisher U of MN Design Center.

Climate Adaptation/ Resilience Planning/ Project Examples – Matt Metzger, P.E. Barr Engineering

Climate Adaptation/ Resilient Infrastructure, Project Examples, Brett Emmons, P.E., Emmons Oliver Resources.

Urban Forestry/ Green Infrastructure, Resilience and your Comp Plan – Michael Orange, Orange Environmental

Heath/ Active Living/ Food Access/ Health Equity – Dakota, Hennepin and Ramsey County staff, Nadja Berneche, Food Access Policy Guide & Check List

Metro County Solid Waste Master Plan Updates

Small Group Discussion (Energy, Adaptation, Health) – explore how you can use these resources in your city with peers from other cities & resource staff (90 min)

Local, clean ENERGY & transportation Water Quality/ADAPTATION Active Living, Food Access, HEALTH
Mapping – solar maps, residential and commercial energy use profilesSetting Goals – LOGOPEP Energy Planning Templates

Implementation & funding – CERTS, Utility Programs, Sol Smart, SB 2030, energy efficiency, Drive Electric MN,

Mapping – flood & climate risk planning and preparednessSetting Goals  – BWSR and Watershed District Requirements

Implementation & funding – multi jurisdictional projects, MIDS CIP budgets, Legacy projects

Mapping  – health & income disparities, bike & trail connectionsSetting Goals – Healthy Comp Plan Check List, examples from cities

Implementation & funding – Bike/Ped Funding, Safe Routes, Food Access, city examples


LOCAL CLEAN ENERGY – Community Profiles, Solar Maps, LOGOPEP Case studies, Planning Templates & Wedge Tool

  • Great Plains Institute, U of MN Design Center, Center for Sustainable Building Research, Energy Transition Lab, LHB, Center for Energy Environment, USGBC/ LEED for Cities, Xcel Energy – Partners in Energy, Dakota Electric, Connexus, FSEER, Novel Energy Solutions
  • Download our new checklist of sample Energy and Climate Action for City Comprehensive Plans compiled by Ted Redmond, Pale Blue Dot and the Alliance for Sustainability Emission Reduction Example Measures 060817

ADAPTATION/ Water Quality – Climate vulnerability mapping, Surface Water Plans, Emergency Preparedness, multi jurisdictional projects

  • Barr Engineering, Emmons Olivier Resources, MPCA, Bolton & Menk, Ramsey Washington, Rice Creek, Nine Mile, Riley Purgatory, Minnehaha Watershed Districts

HEALTH/ Active Living, Food Access, Economic Inclusion – Bike & pedestrian & food access maps, health & equity data & strategies

  • Public Health staff, MN Food Charter – Food Access Planning Guide, GARE, One MN, Concordia, CURA

Thanks to our Workshop Co-sponsors – Alliance for Sustainability, MN EQB, MPCA, MDH, DNR, Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey & Washington Counties, Center for Energy and Environment, EOR Inc., GPI, LHB Corp, USGBC, Ever-Green Energy, Xcel Energy, Dakota Electric, Eutectics, LHB Corp., Bolton & Menk, Fresh Water Society, Rice Creek and Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed Districts,, MN Food Charter, U of MN CURA, MN Design Center, CSBR, Energy Transition Lab, MFAN, iMatter Youth