Social Dimensions of Adaptation

CCRUN’s social science team focuses on the economic, policy, and environmental justice aspects of climate resiliency and adaptation in the Northeast. The team investigates what processes are occurring regarding resilience and adaptation and how they differ across contexts. The team examines how processes of resilience planning can be influenced following an extreme event to enhance collective learning that increases preparedness for future risks. The team also addresses broad questions related to engagement of communities and community-based organizations with government-run resilience programs and explores how different adaptation actions can lead to resilience cascading spatially to encompass groups beyond targeted populations. The aim is to better understand impediments and possible pathways to accelerate adaptation action to reduce vulnerability and climate risk and increase overall resilience.

Current Research: 

Implementation of the Post-Extreme Event Learning Toolkit (PELT)

The team is working with the Town of Cornwall, New York and the village of Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York to implement the Post-Extreme Event Learning Toolkit (PELT) for an extreme flooding event that impacted the region in July 2023. The team is currently organizing a workshop for Spring 2024 with community leaders to run the toolkit. The workshop utilizes collective lived experiences and discussions regarding the event to develop a better understand of why the event happened to uncover adaptation solutions previously hidden before the workshop. The toolkit was previously tested in New York City with Community Board 8 and Hurricane Ida. There is also an aim to run the toolkit in Brooklyn, NY which experienced extreme flooding resulting from heavy rainfall from September 28 -30, 2023.

Critical Infrastructure and Cascading Risks 

As part of Integrated Project 1 on compound extreme events, our team is investigating how the interconnections of critical infrastructure in urban areas lead to cascading risks when impacted by an extreme event. Furthermore, we want to know whether these same connections present opportunities for resilience measures to cascade throughout the impacted region. We are working with communities around Jamaica Bay in New York City to undercover if there were missed opportunities for cascading resilience following Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and what steps can be taken to increase the possibility for resilience to cascade in the aftermath of compound extreme events

Additional Projects: 

  • Investigating Regional Adaptation Dynamics Along Watersheds in the Northeast 
  • Are We Making Progress?: Survey analysis of community engagement with government-run resilience programs along the New York/New Jersey coastline.

Key Publications:

Friedman, E., Solecki, W., Troxler, T. G., & Paganini, Z. (2023). Linking quality of life and climate change adaptation through the use of the macro-adaptation resilience toolkit. Climate Risk Management, 39, 100485.

Solecki, W., & Friedman, E. (2021). At the Water’s Edge: Coastal Settlement, Transformative Adaptation, and Well-Being in an Era of Dynamic Climate Risk. Annual Review of Public Health, 42(1), 211–232.

Key Stakeholders: 

  • New York City Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice 
  • NYC Department of City Planning
  • NYC Office of Emergency Management
  • Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay
  • Town of Cornwall, NY 
  • Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY

Team Members: 

Dr. William Solecki – [email protected]

Dr. Erin Friedman – [email protected]

Parisa Setayesh – [email protected]

Charles Overton – [email protected]