Declared an eco-municipality in 2007, the City of Portsmouth, NH has committed to developing and executing an innovative climate action plan (CAP) which will protect the coastal city against current and future climate threats. Partnering with the city, VHB will develop the CAP to guide the city as they integrate climate adaptation planning into the local planning and regulatory framework, serving as the foundation for climate adaptation projects and goals in the coming decades. Additionally, the plan will advance equity, confirming that community members experience the benefits of positive outcomes and that none bear a disproportional share of climate change impacts.
The team will implement the project in two phases, with the first phase focused on engaging city staff, residents, and stakeholders in the development of ideas and priorities. This phase will create the building blocks of the CAP: identifying community values; understanding how the community interacts with the natural environment; evaluating existing conditions and challenges; and examining the city’s role as an eco-municipality.
Phase two will include a preliminary assessment of strategies for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals and review for their applicability and feasibility, as well as subsequent prioritization and phasing. By identifying short-, medium- and long-term strategies, the plan will provide an innovative, step-by-step approach to addressing, mitigating, and adapting to ongoing and future climate change impacts in an effective and equitable manner. Additionally, the team will present options for updating local regulations that will promote the installation of solar photovoltaics for both residents and businesses.