Making it Personal: Diversity and Deliberation on Climate Adaptation

Photo courtesy of Akilah Sanders-Reed
Climate vulnerabilities are distributed unevenly across races, ethnicities, classes, ages, incomes and genders. The objective of this project was to make climate adaptation personal for those who tend to remain outside of climate change planning discourses. However, engaging these neighborhoods and individuals in climate communication is challenging. Identifying appropriate messengers and language that resonates with these communities is difficult. To address this gap, GLISA provided funding to Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota to launch a pilot program in three low-income, racially and ethnically diverse neighborhoods.

Project Contact

Roopali Phadke, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, Department of Environmental Policy and Politics, Macalester College, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Read the 2014 project report »


Read the 2015 project report »


Read the Journal Article »


Project Accomplishments: 

Through this pilot, project leaders facilitated a collaborative effort with community members to create two climate impact scenarios in each neighborhood, one acute impact (e.g., flooding) and one chronic impact (e.g., heat). By employing videos and other tools, project leaders simulated an event and asked participants to articulate how they would react, identify resources available to respond, and determine gaps in resources.

Research findings: 

The project team identified whether individuals, the neighborhood, or the city should be responsible for climate preparedness activities.