Planning for Infrastructure Resilience

PAS Report 596

By Joseph DeAngelis, AICP, Haley Briel, Michael Lauer, AICP

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This report is available free to all. This project was supported by financial assistance provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Regional Coastal Resilience Grants Program.

Across the country, communities are facing higher risks of flooding and cascading impacts from more frequent and intense storm events and sea level rise caused by climate change. Extreme weather will strain aging facilities and systems, and new projects will be at risk if they are not planned, designed, and constructed to account for climate-related stresses well into the future.

Planning for Infrastructure Resilience offers planners guidance in helping their communities consider new climate and flood realities in the comprehensive and capital improvements planning processes.

The report offers planners a road map, starting with preparation and planning. It introduces data and tools to help understand the risks of future flooding. Explore the vulnerability assessment process and get guidance in integrating that information into plans and policies. Then comes implementation, with chapters exploring how capital improvement plans, local regulations, and funding sources can help ensure that public infrastructure is resilient to flood and climate impacts for decades to come.

About the Authors

Joseph DeAngelis, AICP, is a planner and senior research associate with the American Planning Association in Chicago, where he focuses on climate adaptation, natural hazard risk, and community resilience. 

Haley Briel is a research specialist with the Association of State Floodplain Manager’s Flood Science Center. She has spent her professional life approaching water-related topics through a variety of lenses.

Michael Lauer, AICP, principal of Michael Lauer Planning, LLC, has served local governments from coast to coast over the last 36 years. He has developed and helped implement award-winning growth management programs for urban and rural jurisdictions. 

Product Details

Page Count
Date Published
Dec. 31, 2019
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

Table of Contents


Executive Summary

Chapter 1: Why Plan for Infrastructure Resilience?
Flood Hazards and Climate Change
Future Flood Risks and Public Infrastructure Vulnerability
Opportunities for Infrastructure Resilience
About This Report

Chapter 2: Understanding Future Flood Risk With Data and Tools
Climate and Flood Hazard Data Types
Finding Tools and Data

Chapter 3: Assessing Infrastructure Vulnerability
Infrastructure Vulnerability Assessment
Social Vulnerability Assessment: Moving Beyond Infrastructure
Infrastructure Vulnerability Assessments in Action

Chapter 4: Planning Tools for Infrastructure Resilience
Community Visioning and Engagement
Regional Planning
Comprehensive Planning
Functional Plans

Chapter 5: Resilient Infrastructure and the Capital Improvements Plan
An Overview of Capital Improvements Planning
Addressing Climate and Flood Risk in the CIP

Chapter 6: Standards, Guidelines, and Regulations for Resilient Infrastructure Development
Standards and Guidelines to Support Resilient Infrastructure
Regulatory Approaches to Privately Developed or Maintained Infrastructure
Strategies for Adopting Infrastructure Resiliency Guidelines and Regulations

Chapter 7: Infrastructure Finance and Resilience
Capital Budgeting and Infrastructure Finance
Financing Resilience: Current Practice and Emerging Trends
The Planner’s Role in Resilient Infrastructure Finance

Chapter 8: Looking Ahead
The Planner’s Role in Infrastructure Resilience
Climate Change and Deep Uncertainty