Is flood resilience planning improving? A longitudinal analysis of networks of plans in Boston and Fort Lauderdale

Sierra Woodruff, Sara Meerow, Philip Gilbertson, Bryce Hannibal, Melina Matos, Malini Roy, Matthew Malecha, Siyu Yu, Phil Berke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


As climate change increases flood risk, there is growing recognition that the multiple plans cities adopt often work at cross purposes and encourage development in areas at risk of current and future flooding. There have been calls for a more coordinated approach to planning for current and future flood risks, but is planning rising to the challenge? We apply the Plan Integration for Resilience Scorecard (PIRS) methodology to spatially evaluate policies that would impact physical vulnerability to flooding in the network of different city plans that shape land use and steer development in Boston, MA and Fort Lauderdale, FL. Unlike previous applications of this approach, we look at how the plan network is changing over time. Between 2015 and 2019, attention on climate change grew in both cities, as did the number of plans and policies across the network with the potential to decrease physical vulnerability. New types of plans, such as climate change adaptation plans, play an important role in reducing flood risks. However, plans perpetuate past disparities in policy attention. As the first study to analyze how city networks of plans and their potential impact on resilience evolve over time, this work has important implications for planning scholarship and practice as well as hazard and climate change governance more broadly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100354
JournalClimate Risk Management
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Flooding
  • Longitudinal
  • Network of plans
  • Plan Integration for Resilience Scorecard
  • Resilience
  • Sea Level Rise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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